TV announcer Ako Kawada found dead in car in apparent suicide

TV announcer Ako Kawada found dead in car in apparent suicide

TOKYO —

Freelance TV announcer Ako Kawada, 29, was found dead in her car in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Monday morning, in what police believe was a suicide. Police said they received a call from a passerby just after 6 a.m., saying that a woman was slumped in the front seat of her car. When police arrived, they found Kawada dead and two charcoal briquettes in the backseat.

The car was parked up the road from where she lived, police said, adding there was a note on the front seat addressed to Kawada’s parents. Kawada, who was born in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, was on the TBS network from 2002 until March 2007. Since then, she has been a freelance announcer, most recently for TV Asahi’s “Saturday Scramble” program. On her blog last week, Kawada had said she was worn out and needed a break.

  • 0

    pathat

    TV announcer Ako Kawata found dead in car in apparent suicide

    This is so sad. I always enjoyed watching her.

    By the way, I think it would be better to romanize her name as "Kawada", and not Kawata.

    Moderator: It has been corrected.

  • 0

    timorborder

    Something in the back of my mind tells me that she isnt the first announcer to take her own life. Anybody remember other examples?

  • 0

    jerseyboy

    Complete and utter shame. Beautiful young woman in the prime of her life. My sincerest condolences to her parents -- they must be devastated. Hope some good can come out of this in some way.

  • 0

    pathat

    Jerseyboy: You are right. Maybe this tragedy will force more people to squarely confront and address issues related to suicide in Japan.

  • 0

    Spidey

    My thoughts are more focused on the word "apparent" written in the article. I, for one, would like to see more effort in proving that a suicide actually took place. If I was the type to off somebody, I would make sure for it to look the "suicide of the day." That way the authorities in their all assuming wisdom would easily and conveniently write it off. Sadly however, this probably was a suicide, considering the society in which it took place.

    Another soul "written off" that could have been saved.

    S

  • 0

    beowulf

    I really liked Kawada Ako from her time on Goro's Bar and Nepu Rika. I am actually a little saddened by this news, because she was somebody I actually enjoyed watching.

    I know she had moved away from doing variety programs because she wanted to do more serious television...such a shame.

  • 0

    romulus3

    gee, even with everything to live for, she found nothing worth living for. I wonder if it had anything to do with her fading star...

  • 0

    Fair dinkum!

    Unreal! I guess everyone knows of someone who has committed suicide in Japan if you have lived here few years. 30,000 people do this every year in Japan. Two of my wife's friends have done it in the last three years. I have no sympathy for these self-indulgent imbeciles! I'm always surprised by the bleeding hearts that sympathize with these twits!

  • 0

    GW

    pathat

    wud be nice but sadly highly unlikely, suicide japan-style(methods come & go but they are often similar many thousands before them) will be here probably forever, star wars has THE FORCE, I always tell people Japan has THE WAY, applies to many aspects of being Japanese, I dont see THE WAY changing anytime soon........

  • 0

    Altria

    So many people would kill (no pun intended) to have her lifestyle, career and looks.

    She must have had some serious personal issues.

  • 0

    rjd_jr

    R.I.P.

  • 0

    openyoureyes

    lends weight to the questions, "what is 'success,' and does having it bring you happiness?"

  • 0

    jerseyboy

    Fair_dinkum...I'm almost certain that I have said this previously in response to one of your fairly asine posts on this subject, but, allow me to repeat myself. Your lack of compassion for folks who choose to take their own life -- calling them "twits" -- is almost criminal. It speaks volumes about your depth as a human being. I will agree that society, and Japan specifically, should not glorify suicide and make these folks out to be almost heroic/honorable. But, to be unable to empathsize with someone who is so distraught as to not feel life is worth living, displays a very myopic view of life and human nature. And to brand 30,000 people like Kawata-san who take their lives every year here as twits, without knowing a thing about them shows incredible ignorance and arrogance.

  • 0

    tashidelek

    hello peoples, i don`t think that she did suicide y because that she was found dead in car this Monday morning,so she was dead on the sunday... soon we'll know...

  • 0

    chardk1

    To Japanese people or media suicide generally doesn't have a religion sin component to it, so to them it's like any other unfortunate death, like a car accident or whatever. I wouldn't say they glorify people who commit suicide here. But there are some pretty complex mental health issues here, that's for sure, what with suicide, ijime, shut-in's, etc. Of course, eating until you weigh 400 pounds and then suing McDonald's would be considered equally crazy here I suppose.

  • 0

    nutsagain

    Agreed. What a wast of life. Such a lovely woman and she had everything to live for. This makes us all sad I'm sure. RIP you angel. Yes, who was the other female presenter who did this fairly recently?

  • 0

    Fair dinkum!

    And to brand 30,000 people like Kawata-san who take their lives every year here as twits, without knowing a thing about them shows incredible ignorance and arrogance.

    And then, how would you brand them Jerseyboy? Friends? Society's lost children? People unable to function within a society? People who missed the last bus to the doctor? Or, as I said, self-indulgent twits?

    You should have a conversation with my friend's seven year old daughter whose mother took her own life three months ago. She will help you gain a different perspective from behind your rose colored glasses. Oh, and did I mention my friend's daughter found the body too???

    Moderator: Please refrain from posting insensitive remarks.

  • 0

    KyouNoNippon

    Why do you gotta brand them anything?

    Too bad.

  • 0

    illsayit

    Fair Dinkum

  • 0

    romulus3

    Jersey,

    > Your lack of compassion for folks who choose to take their own life -- calling them "twits" -- is almost criminal

    thats going a bit far isn't it? calling someone a twit is not so bad. I agree that they are twits for doing it. suicide is hardly the thing of an individual with incredible foresight is it?

    Then you speak of empathy and blast fair dinkum for having none. What empathy did the suicidee have for those left behind to pick up the pieces, find the body, clean blood, brains and bone off the rail tracks, the people who pick up the dismembered limbs and stuff them into bags with decapitated heads and torsos.

    The woman who do suicide and take their children with them etc or endanger or kill others with toxic gases...

    Have you ever walked into a room and found a person hanging? Can you imagine the grotesque scene. The twisted face of a loved one, the smell of fecies and urin etc..the stuff of nightmares which will scar the discoverer forever and ever.

    How about the mental harm done to train drivers all over Japan? How about jumpers who land on passersby? worthy of empathy?

    I mean what kind of twit opts out of life and thinks that the gas that kills them, cannot harm others if they leave a note on the door?

    so I am of the opinion that suicidees are unworthy of empathy, but if they sought help first, instead of committing suicide, I am sure that they will find empathy from all quarters. Instead, they have been labeled twits. Pretty kind word considering the enormous damage they can cause to others.

  • 0

    beowulf

    Okay I think we need to clear a few things up here.

    One in three people the world over will suffer from a mental illness at a point in their life.

    People suffering from a severe mental illness, eg, schizophrenia, are twenty times more likely to commit suicide. One in five people who commit suicide have been in contact with mental health services prior to their death.

    People who commit suicide often have an "illness" that will simply not be overcome by toughing it out.

    I am not saying that Kawada Ako had a mental disorder (she did say on her blog that she was suffering from mental and physical fatigue), but she was obviously down about something, so far down that she decided to take her own life. If that does not deserve our empathy and understanding, then I do not know what does.

  • 0

    tkoind2

    Suicide is sad in any case. Especially for someone with so much to live for. But in Japan I am not surprised that life here leads a lot of people to choose an exit. Too much work, no work life balance, poor social networks, absence of real psychological help, restrictive social structures and unreasonable expectations. Add that to crowds, tiny dull homes to live in and the stress of living in such a busy place and it is a wonder that suicides are not even higher. People need to rethink things and try to make life better for living not just for working and stressing.

  • 0

    GW

    unfortunately suicide is a Japanese as sushi or sumo, wont be going away anytime soon.........

  • 0

    SushiSake3

    Unbelievable! Why would someone like her do this?

    I noticed some posters saying she had 'so much to live for', etc.

    Clearly, she didn't think that.

    So sad...

  • 0

    timorborder

    Seems that nobody picked up on my suggestion of list of Japanese TV announcers who have topped themselves. I am sure this is not the first one....

  • 0

    thedesertfox

    what a waste. she was cute

  • 0

    pathat

    Jerseyboy: Your 1:50 post is spot on.

    thedesertfox:

    what a waste. she was cute

    Perhaps this was part of the problem; that people noticed that about her, but not some other things that should be more important in life. A lot of these 女子アナ in recent years are just idols parading around as so-called newscasters for the entertainment value they bring their stations and sponsors in a world in which the TV news industry represents pretty much a superflous industry. And these women are disposable parts after at most a few years on the job.

    Some here are saying she had so much to live for, partly pertaining to her job as well as her looks and some youth still. I do not know that the job part is really so good for many of these young women, and for whatever reason(s) the future must have seemed very grim to Ako Kawada. Anyway, what a sad day for her family, friends, and fans.  

  • 0

    Fair dinkum!

    Seven Basic Reasons why people commit suicide:

    A. Depression:
    
        1. Over emphasis on materialism --- which does not satisfy.
    
        2. Inability to cope with life's challenges or personal problems.
    
        3. Guilt because of sin.
    
        4. Long term illness / relief of pain.
    
    B. Bitterness:
    
        1. Unforgiving spirit.
    
        2. Unresolved hurts.
    
    C. Insecurity:
    
        1. Identity crisis.
    
        2. Family breakdown.
    
    D. Rejection:
    
        1. Results of failure / defeat / disobedience.
    
        2. Hopelessness.
    
        3. Never able to satisfy.
    
    E. Rebellion:
    
        1. Problem dealing with authority.
    
        2. Pride --- self is own authority.
    
        3. Assertion of self --- desire to be # 1.
    
    F. Impulse:
    
        1. Copy Cat / Cluster suicides.
    
        2. Misplaced loyalty.
    
        3. Confusion.
    
    G. Revenge:
    
        1. Dying for a cause.
    
        2. To "get back at" someone.
    
        3. Their desire to hurt is stronger than the desire to live.
    

    H) All of the above!

  • 0

    Nessie

    Depression? Physical ailment?

    I guess for the conspiracy theorists, this will show that charcoal briquets in the backseat is the way to "suicide" someone.

    My friend at an insurance company sees this all the time, especially during the year-end accounting season. The police try to give the benefit of the doubt to the family, ruling some of these deaths as accidental, as if people regularly had barbeques in their cars. Anyway, a terrible waste.

  • 0

    blue_monday

    I'd say your compassion should be reserved for the friends and family left behind. The person that takes their life made a decision, the people left behind are the ones that have to live with it. I wouldn't call them twits, but I would say they are self absorbed and temporarily insane.

  • 0

    spotehun

    Comitting suicide is a way of running away from responsibility, hardships, and so on.

    Do they never think about the people they leave behind? The sadness and pain they cause?

    People who commit suicide with a "normal" background, should visit places where there really are hardships. They would never ever think about suicide again.

  • 0

    terebiko

    This is a sad story. I too enjoyed watching her, and was shocked by the news. I'm still waiting for proof that she did in fact kill herself. On her blog the last entry was 5/24. Didn't seem out of the ordinary.

  • 0

    Tatanka

    The number of suicides in the U.S. and Japan are about the same: 30K/year, so that would put Japan's suicide rate at a bit more than double over the U.S. Understandable given the rigid social structure here, close-mindedness to second chances and no-escape mentality not only due in part to their archaic language, but also because of being surrounded by water.

  • 0

    TeruSensei

    So sad when anyone feels the need to do so. I'm thinking of all her family and friends at this time.

  • 0

    jackwz

    suicide is a sin!

  • 0

    tclh

    Young ,beautiful,intelligent ,at 29 the world is at her feet..and she commited suicide?!?!I think her parents are now crying a river for her death...just terrible.

  • 0

    fingerless

    Maybe no one ever took her problems seriously because she happens to be good looking and successful. Whenever a celebrity case like this comes along it really should remind people also of the thousands of cases that go unreported. Where the victims also had a right to, but failed to get, adequate mental health care.

  • 0

    ilahdus

    Spotehund: Many people that want to commit suicide do think about the ones that they would leave behind and how much sorrow it would cause. Sometimes it helps them get through the difficulties, sometimes they just can't bear the life anymore, whatever the reason. Sometimes they need and will get help and will become (again) a full member of society and bring happiness other people. Sometimes they get help and still won't make it. Sometimes they don't get any help and still survive -- or then not.

    I'm myself one of those that was left behind. I wish things wouldn't have happened as they did, and I've felt my share of anger, unfairness, resentment, despair etc etc. It's a sad and horrible thing, but it's not so black and white and blame hardly helps anyone.

    Rest in peace Ako, too sad that you could not take it anymore.

  • 0

    Youdontknow

    This is truly sad. If she was worn out, why not just take a much needed holiday? Yeah, yeah, I know, easier said than done and obviously her reasons for doing this are known only to her and her family at this time. But what a tragic loss of a beautiful young woman whose professionalism and radiance brought something special to Japanese TV and its viewers. She will be missed by many. May she rest in peace.

  • 0

    himasan

    Working with some of the tossers from TBS would make anyone wanna end it.

  • 0

    Betting

    That's the sad part of the whole thing, take a holiday, but the person has mentally reached a point where this is not obvious to them (if it was the cause). I think it goes to show that society is in need of a shakeup soon and make it a better place to live, not just work.

  • 0

    Azrael

    Suicide is wrong.

    Looking onto other aspects of the news report, IF she committed suicide at least she used charcoal briquettes instead of poisoning gas. I suppose she refused to provide more interest/glamour to the poisoning gas trend, which may severely harm or even kill others. In these sad news, at least that one point may or may not show her regard for the troubled people of this country.

  • 0

    japandp

    I feel sorry for the announcer but I honestly cannot believe some of the comments here. Condemning her like this. Many of you seem to just impose your beliefs on someone else. If I was a friend that reached out to those of you who condemn her and the advice I got was "it is wrong" or "take a holiday", I'd honestly would move along and find another friend to talk to.

    It is unfortunate she chose that path and I feel sorry for her family. A few months ago, I read an article about a Japanese family who killed themselves because they had no money and were too much into debt. "Get a new job?" Well, in many countries, the people would have chosen to rob someone instead or take drugs and probably kill/hurt someone in the process. This isn't good either. So let's not condemn someone just because they chose a path none of you would take. Let the poor woman rest in peace...

  • 0

    1proudamerican

    what the hell dose charcoal briquets have to do w/suicide? someone please clue me in. thx

  • 0

    Youdontknow

    japandp:

    If I was a friend that reached out to those of you who condemn her and the advice I got was "it is wrong" or "take a holiday", I'd honestly would move along and find another friend to talk to.

    No one said you were my friend mate. And you obviously misinterpreted my statement. I was trying to make the point that suicide, while obvious to those of us with sound minds and a clear vision of our problems, is not the answer. However, my point did also say that it seems obvious to the rest of us, NOT in her situation or frame of mind. Please try to read between the lines more next time. I wasn't condoning her for her actions, I made it VERY clear what a tragic loss this is.

    ProudAmerican: The briquettes give off carbon monoxide - a tasteless, odourless gas that is fatal.

  • 0

    GW

    To all of the above who call this suicide sad etc etc because she was "" cute, beautiful...."" are you saying if she wasnt then its ok to off one self, some people on this thread are extremely shallow.......

  • 0

    Easy50

    Those who choose suicide are convinced there is no ther way. They do not believe there is another, better alternative. They are not twits, they are not naive, they simply do not know there is a different path. Had she talked to someone who cared about her, that person might have shown her a better way. EVERY SINGLE SUICIDE, regardless of one's ethnic or national bakground, is a tragic, needless loss, but one that someone might have foreseen and maybe prevented. I did not know this young woman, but I am sad for her family and for a young life unfulfilled.

  • 0

    kenchan

    aside from the usual side sniping that goes on in these posts of "for/against", the real issue is whether the Japanese government and the Japanese industry as a whole will ever do anything to reduce/manage mental illneses that cause such suicides. I know for one that the Japanese media don't give a monkeys about such mental illnesses and just brush such people aside onto the rubbish heap, bringing in new young fresh blood when required.

  • 0

    1proudamerican

    youdontknow-thx for the answer,but only a couple of briquets is enough to do the job? are you serious.im sorry but wouldent that take a few days,it seems to me if thats how she wanted to go,wouldent she just start the car and just use a hose. close the garage door and roll down the windows. i dont me to sound crass but that dosent sound right,only a couple of briquets.

  • 0

    1proudamerican

    mean to sound

  • 0

    KenjiYamamoto

    perhaps it was lost love or something... may be even murder...

    i have no idea, but if financial problems was not her modus vivendi, then the cause may be something else.

  • 0

    swibbs

    The sad truth is that she probably just wanted her internal pain to end, and now she is with out pain. this is a mental illness not often recognised in Japan, depression. And it affects millions. RIP

  • 0

    Blue_Tiger

    Tragic. Terribly tragic...

  • 0

    1GiantStudMuffi

    This is a sad story. I too enjoyed watching her, and was shocked by the news. I'm still waiting for proof that she did in fact kill herself. On her blog the last entry was 5/24. Didn't seem out of the ordinary.

  • 0

    8iamhappy8

    We'll miss you Ako...

    Btw, this is the same phenomenon as medical doctors who commit suicide during their tough residency years. Basically, when you are over-worked, your life becomes lifeless (ie. everything you used to enjoy doesn't seem to be enjoyable anymore). This is medically termed "anhedonia", and is probably the PRIME reason why Ako and medical doctors in the US alike would want to commit suicide.

  • 0

    romulus3

    This is to inform you that your message on JapanToday.com has been removed for the following reason: Offensive/vulgar

    Maybe it was, but I wager you ob its accuracy.

  • 0

    tclh

    GW

    "To all of the above who call this suicide sad etc etc because she was "" cute, beautiful...."" are you saying if she wasnt then its OK to oneself off,some people on this thread are extremely shallow...."is that how you understand it?You are completely out of line.She is cute and beautiful because she is cute and beautiful.She committed suicide because for some reasons she committed suicide.I think people here,on this thread, just feel a very terrible waste ofa human life, and a very cute and beautiful one.Anything wrong with that?

  • 0

    usaexpat

    Sad news, she seems to have had everything going for her. Suicide is usually something reserved for people who's lives are in free-fall which doesn't seem to be the case with Ako Kawada. What a shame and a tragedy that she didn't see any reason to carry on.

  • 0

    OhioDonna

    I am saddened by her loss.

  • 0

    presto345

    I had to cry when I read this. I have a daughter, just a few years younger, with the same job and I have seen her cry and have listened to the stories about the bullying, the competition, the jealousy, the things directors make her do and I can imagine that there is a point, a blind spot that makes everything seem hopeless. These things of course happen in other work places too. People do it because there was something in the brain all the time, or severe stress brought it on all of a sudden. One poster on this forum has no sympathy for them, but I do because they are/were impaired. I have also been confronted with suicide, several times, including my own brother who was very good at his job and a very sociable person. It leaves me wondering the rest of my life. Yes, the pain is terrible for those left behind, but yet you cannot condemn them. Their pain was even worse. I do hope some people in the industry Ako was in will reflect on what they might have contributed to her death. I am deeply sorry and sad.

  • 0

    ALHQQ

    How many suicides have to happen? It is NORMAL to have problems and even more normal to open up about them rather than bottle them up until taking ones life is the only option.

    Later for this "shame" "honor" system, it's outdated, Japan needs to open up, we all have dirty laundry...

  • 0

    KaptainKichigai

    anybody feel sad or lonely and need a little lovin'?, i am throwing down the invitation...Come on and talk to me. I could have saved her...

  • 0

    antizombie

    Really sad. Rest in Peace.

  • 0

    BlueEmbers

    i have no idea, but if financial problems was not her modus vivendi, then the cause may be something else.

    Do you mean modus operandi? Modus Vivendi is when you "agree to disagree".

    I wonder if she had a boyfriend.

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