Japan is a country where you will see things that are generally said to be somewhat inadvisable in other places, such as people sleeping in trains with their belongings in the open. While Japan is seen as "a safe and secure country," it still has had incidents that make people question its safety. We decided to compare the facts and figures of other countries to truly find out whether Japan is as safe as it seems.
One of the Lowest Numbers of Violent Crimes Worldwide
Please look at the table below. This table represents the number of homicide cases in recent years per 100,000 people divided between 221 countries and regions all over the world. El Salvador, in Central America, had the highest rate of homicide with over 108 cases, which is incredibly high when compared with other countries. There were approximately 27 cases in Brazil, which hosted the Olympic Games in 2016, where it was noted there were problems with security. America had 4.88 cases which is attributed to the poor gun regulations in the country. There were 0.92 cases in Britain, which is considered a peaceful country in Europe, with South Korea, China, and Taiwan all around the neighborhood of 0.8 cases. Japan sits even lower with their number at 0.31. As Japan is #197, it demonstrates that the country is one with very few homicides.
Even Regarding Lesser Crimes than Murder, Japan is Notably Safer
Let's consider crimes other than murder, beginning with cases of theft dealing with travelers from foreign countries. The table below is also based on the number of incidences per 100,000 people, but record the number of theft crimes which do not involve any form of bodily harm such as pickpocketing and luggage theft. Japan had a recorded 356.2 cases, with 531.65 cases in neighboring South Korea. Both of these figures are still low when compared to the 1773.40 cases in the United States or the 2208.58 cases in England and Wales.
When considering cases of violent robbery, America had a recorded 101.74 cases, England and Wales had 87.52, with Japan at 2.41. This clearly shows that cases of robbery in Japan are significantly lower than that of other countries.
The Reason Women Can Walk Alone at Night
So, how do the numbers look when considering sexual offenses against women? The table below shows the number of rape cases per 100,000 people. While this table contains some old data, it is clear that Japan is very safe when compared with other countries. There are only 0.99 cases in Japan for 51.04 in England and Wales, with 38.55 cases in the United States, and 20.12 in France.
Be Careful with Your Vehicles
How do the numbers compare with car theft? When reviewing the number of grand theft auto of private cars per 100,000 people, there are about 20 cases for Japan, with an average of 160 cases for both The United States and France. When compared with these countries the number is lower but is still at a ratio of about 1 to 8. Since car ownership in each country is not considered, these figures are not comprehensive, but when compared to other Asian countries, there are only 0.9 cases in Indonesia, and 1.7 cases which makes Japan a more extreme case and cannot be considered safe in this area. In addition to car theft, incidences of vandalism and break-ins have also been recorded, so when leaving your car, be sure to take crime prevention measures such as taking your valuables with you and placing any other belongings, like luggage, out of sight.
Fraudulent Crimes are Prominent in Japan
In recent years, a particular type of fraud known as “Ore Ore fraud" is rampant and has become a social problem in Japan. This type of fraud is an attempt to trick parents or grandparents into sending money to people that impersonate their child or grandchild who lives far away and is dealing with money troubles. Although it may be hard to imagine that such a crime can be carried out, the methods are becoming more sophisticated year by year and while the police and mass media have desperately brought this to the attention of the public, there continues to be new victims every day. There were 8,496 victims of Ore Ore fraud recorded in 2017, with the monetary damage amounting to 20,790 million yen. In addition, the total amount of fraudulent crimes including fictitious invoices and fraudulent refunds and returns numbered to 18,212 cases, with the total damage totaling about 39.47 billion yen. Recently, examples of such fraud have been reported in Asian countries, as well as The United States and others, but in Japan, these fraud crimes are particularly high.
Japan can be Considered a Safe Country as the Crimes that are Committed do not Endanger Any Lives
When looking at the figures of these crimes, Japan's image as a safe country holds up as the numerical values of these crimes are comparatively low. Any chance of becoming the victim of a dangerous or violent crime is incredibly low. Whatever city you travel to you will find it is clean where the people obey the laws and mind their manners. This is why you will find people asleep on trains and women walking alone at night which gives tourists the impression that ”Japan is a safe country.” Unfortunately, it would be an overstatement to say that there is no crime. It is evident that foreigners in Japan have been victims of lesser crimes. Please enjoy your stay in Japan, but be sure to pay attention to your surroundings to help ensure your safety and security.
Source - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: https://data.unodc.org/
Top image credit: Kanok Inthuwanarud / Shutterstock.com
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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