Summer holiday is almost over and children are not happy.

But in Japan, children are not just happy, they are so scared that they are taking their lives.

It is gathered that for some children, the thought of returning to school sends their stress levels soaring, as they battle fears ranging from schoolyard bullies to doing poorly in exams.

"Going back to school creates anxiety," said Kuniyasu Hiraiwa, representative director of AfterSchool, a non-profit that helps parents detect early warning signs in kids.

Japan -- which places huge emphasis on academic success -- has the highest suicide rate among the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised nations, with more than 20,000 people taking their own lives annually.

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While the overall suicide rate has been falling since it peaked in 2003, that is not the case among young adults starting their first jobs or schoolchildren.

About 500 Japanese under 20 years of age kill themselves each year. The teen suicide rate on September 1 tends to be around three times higher than any other day of the year.

But some people or group of people are still doing something to prevent more suicides.

As schools reopen on Friday, celebrities have started reaching out to at-risk children and one Tokyo zoo offered refuge to nervous pupils in a bid to tackle the mental health crisis.

This week, popular actress Shoko Nakagawa posted the message "Never die. Live" on Twitter, while public broadcaster NHK created the hashtag "On the night of August 31st" to draw attention to the problem.

Also, singer YuYu Horun, who said he tried to kill himself in primary school, now reaches out to adolescents who feel alienated at home.

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