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I've come to Tokyo to find out what's behind this phenomenon; why more and more young people are seeking each other out on-line to die together.
ANDREW HARDING: And there are thousands more apparently sincere messages about pills and despair and death.
Japan has always had a quiet fascination with suicide.
There's a famous book on the subject which has now sold more than a million copies.
The book describes in explicit detail the pros and cons of various methods.
WATARU TSURUMI (AUTHOR, 'THE COMPLETE SUICIDE MANUAL'): There's nothing bad about suicide. It's not illegal, and we don't have any religion here in Japan telling us otherwise. As for group suicides - before the Internet, people would write letters or make phone calls. ANDREW HARDING: In Japan, suicide has always been closely linked to notions of honour: the patriotic sacrifice of Kamikaze pilots in World War II.
A woman sat in the driver's seat, while the six others sat in two rows behind her.
ANDREW HARDING: Amaterasu is a thoughtful, painfully shy 24-year-old who's twice tried to kill himself.
His day job is dull office work, but after hours, he's found something he now feels has given a focus to his life.
Authorities found the rented van in a deserted mountain lot after a friend of one of the seven who had received an e-mail hinting at suicide called the police.
But officers failed to reach the van in time, a police spokesman in Saitama prefecture, just outside Tokyo, said on condition of anonymity.