The tally totaled 32,753 in the reporting year, the fifth largest on record and up 504 from 2008 when it fell by 844 from the year before. It has remained over 30,000 since 1998.
Men accounted for 23,406 of the total and women 9,347.
The rise apparently reflected the economic slump as the number of monthly suicides topped 3,000 from March to May in line with the tendency of people with economic problems to commit suicide around the time a business year ends. Most Japanese companies close books on March 31.