‘Kindest-hearted’ UCLan student dies by suicide days after receiving tuition debt letter


A Japanese student at the University of Central Lancashire who had ‘the kindest heart’ has taken his own life days after receiving a letter about unpaid tuition fees.

Takanori Tanaka moved to the UK seven years ago to attend Wycliffe College boarding school in Gloucestershire. He moved to Preston to start a degree in international business and planned to return to Japan to take over the family business.

In the months leading up to his death he had struggled with his self-esteem and an inquest at Preston Coroner’s Court on Wednesday June 22 heard a statement from UCLan welfare officer Nicola Duncan who confirmed that those four days before Takanori was found dead, he had received a letter of credential regarding unpaid tuition.

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On the morning of April 25 this year, Christine and Adrian Howell were walking their dog in Jubilee Fields near Moor Lane in Preston when they came across Takanori’s body. When police looked at his email account, they found 15 drafts addressed to friends and family in which he said he “didn’t want to live anymore”.

Deputy Coroner Laura Fox said: “In an email he said he took his own life because of his low self-esteem. He says he took advantage of people because of his loneliness but n gave nothing back. He said it was his choice to die and they shouldn’t feel bad about it.”

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you have mental health issues.

Here are some groups you can contact:

Samaritans: Telephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email [email protected], confidentially.

Child line: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and will not appear on your bill.

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization that supports suicidal teenagers and young adults. Telephone 0800 068 4141.

Depression Alliance: Charitable association for people suffering from depression. No helpline, but it offers useful resources and links to further information.

Students Against Depression: A website for depressed, moody or suicidal students. Click here to visit.

Bullying in the UK: A website for children and adults affected by bullying. Click here.

Campaign Against Living Miserable (CALM): For young men who feel unhappy. A hotline is at your disposal: 0800 58 58 58 or visit the website.

In another email, Takanori said he tried to “fix” himself, but could not be fixed. He said he “couldn’t stop hating himself” and that “a person who has forgiven himself must end his life by his own hand”.

In a statement, Takanori’s sister Mika described her brother as a “genuine and humble boy”. She said: “He would think himself inferior to others but he had the kindest heart.”

Returning a finding of suicide, the coroner said: “Mr. Tanaka silently battled his sanity and suffered from low self-esteem and, as a last resort, committed suicide. His self-hatred has was the catalyst that drove him to end his life.”

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