Whenever we talk about Japan people think of a super safe country, which is true. Still, crimes happen just like anywhere else. In this article we are going to talk about crime and theft rates in Japan.
It is believed that 20% of Japanese people have been victims of some type of crime at some time in their lives. Be it a scam, price theft, bicycle 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?
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 killed in Japan. In a year about 1,200 people are killed in Japan, mostly by bladed weapons.
In Brazil, there are 30 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, totaling more than 60,000 deaths per year, mostly due to firearms. The homicide rate in the United States is 4.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
In Japan, firearms are rare and practically extinct, so much so that few policemen have even used them, some do not even carry them. Less than 5 people are believed to be killed by firearms across the country.
Other research claims that the homicide rate in Japan is 0.31, with only 395 intentional homicides recorded in 2012. Between 2000 and 2009 the rate was about 0.50, or about 600 homicides a year.
It is difficult to know which of these rankings and estimates are more 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 and robberies in Japan
In Japan there are no armed robberies, robberies and the like. Rarely do people steal the hidden ones too. 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, rascals exist everywhere, inducing you to give money or stealing one belonging in secret.
The most popular are white-collar crimes, such as computer and credit card fraud. Others cause theft through counterfeit money and insurance fraud.
There is also evidence of foreign criminals traveling abroad to take advantage of Japan’s lax security and Japanese unpreparedness. Even international gangs have already committed some type of theft in Japan.
Incredibly, Japan has the ability to decrease the rate of crimes, robberies, murders and suicides each year. It has been decades since Japan’s theft records dropped from 2,800,000 in 2002 to 900,000 in 2017.
These records are violations of the Penal Code, so generally they are not always thefts and crimes as most of us imagine. Because, the biggest problem in Japan is the theft of bicycles.
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 themselves return it to the owner or where it was.
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Gangs and Yakuza in Japan
Many know Yakuza as the main criminals in Japan. Fortunately they are not the greatest threat, in fact they are even legal and follow codes of conduct similar to those of the samurai.
Its operations are generally linked to a family parent-child relationship between the leader and his subordinates. Although this traditional arrangement continues to exist, yakuza activities are getting smaller and smaller.
There are now modern gang groups that use force and money as concepts of organization. However, the Yakuza generally imagine themselves as saviors of traditional Japanese virtues.
Yakuza members often form ties with traditionalist groups by adopting the same views and attracting citizens who are not satisfied with society. Their crimes are usually fraud and charging fees for protecting an establishment.
Scams and Scams in Japan
In Japan, the most common are crimes of fraud, scams and extortion that most of the time disguise legitimately and cannot be avoided. Establishment owners sometimes try to charge things that don’t exist.
Foreigners traveling to tourist districts are the main victims. For this reason stay tuned for invitations made by random people to restaurants and nightclubs. They practice unrealistic values and charge fines to extort all their money.
To this day I remember a store wanting to charge me 2,000 yen on a key chain 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 people who ask for money for humanitarian aid in tourist spots, most of that money goes to them, what we call the famous scam. This can be called a type of Scam.
How does Japan manage to reduce its crimes?
It is amazing how Japan each year manages to reduce its crimes, despite the fact that human society gets crazier every year. In addition to strict culture and education, what other meditations are taken to reduce crimes?
A Japanese agency said the drop in crime was the result of the spread of surveillance cameras and public and private efforts to prevent crime.
To give you an idea, thefts fell 9% in 2019, attacks fell 8.5% and white collar crimes fell an incredible 14%. Still, unfortunately, cases of murder and rape have not decreased.
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 province in Japan.
What do you think helps Japan to decrease its crimes more and more? I want to see your comments and also your sharing! Thank you very much and see you next time.