Crimes in Japan – Murder and Robbery Rates

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Whenever we talk about Japan, people think of a super safe country, which is true. Still, crimes happen like anywhere. In this article we will talk about crime and robbery rates in Japan.

It is believed that 20% of the Japanese have been victims of some kind of crime at some point in their lives. Be it a scam, price theft, bike theft, pervert attack, beatings and others.

Fortunately, Japan continues to decrease its crime rate in 2019, making it the fifth consecutive year with the lowest crime rate after World War II. What is the secret to such a feat?

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Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Homicide Rate in Japan

The homicide rate in Japan is 0.8 per 100,000 people. That is, for every 117,000 people, one is murdered in Japan. In a year about 1,200 people are killed in Japan, most of them by bladed weapons.

In Brazil, there are 30 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, totaling more than 60,000 deaths per year, most of them from firearms. The homicide rate in the United States is 4.8 per 100,000 population.

In Japan firearms are rare and practically extinct, so much so that few police officers ever use them, some do not even carry them. It is believed that less than 5 people are killed by firearms in the entire country.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Other research puts the homicide rate in Japan at 0.31, with only 395 intentional homicides recorded in 2012. Between 2000 and 2009 the rate was about 0.50, or about 600 homicides per year.

It is difficult to know which of these rankings and estimates are most accurate. Still, we can say that there are safer countries like Austria, Norway, Ireland, Singapore, Germany and Hong Kong.

Remembering that comparing statistics between countries is not always very accurate. Nations have different laws and methods for collecting crime statistics. Still, Japan is one of the safest countries in the world.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Crimes and thefts in Japan

In Japan there are no armed robberies, robberies and the like. Rarely do people steal stealthily either. So much so that many lose expensive belongings and manage to recover thanks to japanese honesty.

Of course Japan is not immune from thieves, these are rare occasions due to strict Japanese law and culture. Still, rogues exist everywhere, tricking you into giving money or stealing a possession on the sly.

The most popular are white collar crimes such as computer and credit card fraud. Others cause theft through counterfeit money and insurance fraud.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

There is also evidence of foreign criminals traveling from abroad to take advantage of Japan's lax security and Japanese unpreparedness. Even international gangs have committed some sort of robbery in Japan.

Incredibly Japan has the ability to decrease the rate of crimes, robberies, murders and suicides every year. It's been decades since theft records in Japan have dropped from 2,800,000 in 2002 to 900,000 in 2017.

These records are violations of the Penal Code, so they are usually not always robberies and crimes as most of us imagine. After all, the biggest problem in Japan is bicycle theft.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Bicycle theft in Japan

One of Japan's biggest criminal problems is bicycle theft. There are about 6.6 bicycles stolen per 100,000 inhabitants. Japan is the second country with the most bicycle thefts among the G20.

Fortunately 50% of the bikes are recovered by the police. Probably the rate is even higher, some Japanese people simply steal bicycles out of necessity and sometimes they return them to the owner or to the place where it was.

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Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Gangs and Yakuza in Japan

Many know the Yakuza as Japan's top criminals. Fortunately they are not the biggest threat, in fact they are even legal and follow samurai-like codes of conduct.

Its operations are usually tied together with a father-son family relationship between the leader and his subordinates. While this traditional arrangement continues to exist, yakuza activities are dwindling.

Today there are modern gang groups that use force and money as organizing concepts. However, the Yakuza often think of themselves as saviors of traditional Japanese virtues.

The members of yakuza they often form ties with traditionalist groups adopting the same views and attracting citizens who are not satisfied with society. Their crimes are usually embezzlement and charging fees to protect an establishment.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Scams and Scams in Japan

In Japan, the most common crimes are embezzlement, scams and extortion that most of the time disguises legitimately and cannot be avoided. Business owners sometimes try to charge for things that don't exist.

Foreigners traveling to tourist districts are the main victims. For this reason, be on the lookout for invitations made by random people to restaurants and nightclubs. They practice unrealistic values and charge fines to extort all your money.

To this day I remember a store wanting to charge me 2,000 yen on a key ring that could be found for 100 yen at some random store. The nice women just approached me on the street trying to sell me souvenirs.

There are Japanese who ask for money for humanitarian aid at tourist spots, most of this money goes to them, what we call the famous scam. This can be called a type of Strike.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

How does Japan manage to reduce its crimes?

It's amazing how each year Japan manages to decrease its crimes, despite human society getting crazier every year. Besides culture and strict upbringing, what other meditations are taken to reduce crimes?

A Japanese agency said the drop in crime is a result of the spread of surveillance cameras and public and private efforts to prevent crime.

To give you an idea, robberies dropped by 9% in the year 2019, attacks dropped by 8.5% and white collar crimes dropped by an incredible 14%. Still, unfortunately, the cases of murder and rape have not decreased.

Crimes in japan - homicide and theft rates

Most victims of crime and fraud are elderly. Tokyo and Osaka are the provinces with the highest number of crimes in the country. Akita was considered the safest and most crime-free prefecture in Japan.

What do you think helps Japan to reduce its crimes more and more? I want to see your comments and also your sharing! Thank you very much and until next time.

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