Internet suicide pacts have occurred since at least the late 1990s
and have been reported everywhere from Guam to the Netherlands. But in
Japan, where the suicide rate is among the industrialized world's
highest, officials are worried about a recent spate of such deaths.
A record 91 people died in 34 internet-linked suicide cases in Japan
in 2005, up from 55 people in 19 cases in 2004, the National Police
Agency reported last month. The number of internet suicide pacts has
almost tripled from 2003, when the agency began keeping records.