crime

How safe is Japan? New interactive map reveals reports of crime around the country

20 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

As a country where people can save their seats at cafes by simply leaving their MacBook Pros on them, Japan has a reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world. Still, that doesn’t mean crime is non-existent, with cases of seniors being swindled by fake phone calls becoming a continuing problem and reports of groping and sexual assault leading some railway companies to designate women-only passenger cars during rush hour.

While companies and local police do their best to caution people about criminal activity when it occurs, visitors and people looking to move into certain regions often have an interest in finding out about reports of suspicious persons and crime so they know what to watch out for while in the area.

Now there’s a Japanese website that answers that call, with an interactive map that documents all these reports, complete with details such as the date and time of the incident, and descriptions of the perpetrators involved.

Called Gaccom Anzen Navi, which translates to Gaccom Safety Navi, the comprehensive map covers all areas of Japan, from the very northern tip of Hokkaido all the way down to the island of Okinawa in the south. The reports included in the list are organised into the following 27 categories, which extend outside of criminal activity to include all types of local information worth noticing, complete with matching icons for ease of use.

Below, left to right: Suspicious persons; strangers calling out to people; perverts; peeping toms; upskirt photographers/peeping films; prostitution; assault/violence; dangerous weapons; threats/burglary; drugs.

howsafe2.png

Below, left to right: Purse-snatching; theft; home invasion; property damage; traffic incident; fire; natural disaster; emergency dispatch; animal appearance; missing persons.

safe3.png

Below, left to right: Fraud/impersonation; annoyance; harm to children; injury; death; disease/sanitation; living notices (e.g. power outages and disruption to daily services).

safe4.png

The map is easy to navigate, and searches can encompass all reports, or be narrowed down to specific types only. When an icon on the map is clicked, a brief summary of the event pops up, with an option to click for more details.

▼ This specific report recounts an incident of upskirt filming, which occurred on an escalator inside Tokyo Station at approximately 8:50 a.m. on 16 May 2017.

safe5.png

Clicking on “more details’ takes you to a different page, with information about the perpetrator and more about what happened. In this specific case, the perpetrator was a man in his 20s, of medium build, who was wearing a beige jacket and black trousers. He managed to break free from an eyewitness who tried to hold him down.

The message includes a notice from authorities that upskirt filming is a serious crime, and if anyone comes across it they should let people around them know by calling out in a loud voice and informing police immediately.

safe6.png

Another option on the site allows you to switch the map from “normal” to “avatar”, which allows you to see the perpetrators according to their descriptions.

safe7.jpg

Gaccom Safety Navi, which can be navigated in English as well, albeit with an automated translation function, details the last 100 reports received in any specific area, using information provided by the police and local governments.

The free-to-use site is an incredibly handy tool to help spread public safety information.

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Kyoto police set up system to predict when and where crimes will happen

-- 10 factors that make Japan a safe country

-- Italian man kisses woman on train in Wakayama “as a greeting,” gets arrested instead of her number

© SoraNews24

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

20 Comments
Login to comment

"Women-only" passenger cars a rush hour says it all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is no utopia - Utopia does not exist.

But in this real world, Japan is one of the safest countries. It’s very safe whether you are a man, woman or child. Some people read the news stories everyday though and illogically equate this to crime rates. If they bothered to fact check themselves they would find that the number of stories in the news is not even remotely equivalent to crime rates.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

I'd consider any politician that utters the desire for Utopia a good subject for assassination.

Utopia should be feared. The 20th century was filled with the desire for Utopia and it lead straight to nightmare. I fear China may end up going down the same path.

Total control and a complete crushing of the human spirit.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There is an alarming number of the "Harm to Children" icons on that map, in all areas.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

yeah well I will take 100 pickpockets over 1 school shooting any day

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Do we have an icon for kobans refusing people to file a complaint ?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Do we have an icon for kobans refusing people to file a complaint ?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There is an alarming number of the "Harm to Children" icons on that map, in all areas.

Exactly! My area has problems with kids being harassed on the way to school. It makes me nervous when my kids enter elementary.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I see Saitama is a hot spot

6 ( +6 / -0 )

While living in Japan is safer than many other countries. Like when I lived in London for more than two decades over the years you had to be "street wise" to avoid the crimes and troubles. I did find a woman's purse and her details and returned it personally to her. Street wise was also required in other cities like Paris, Rome, New York. Travelled to many places and areas of the world and have managed to avoid crime and troubles.

In Japan I don't need to feel the need so much to be street wise with some exceptions when I'm in areas like very busy mainline train station then I'm aware of pickpockets. But I do feel the need to be more street wise about the high possibility of a disaster like an earthquake so I'm aware of that's happening and if in a large store look at the exits.

Feel safe wherever I am at whatever time it is although I've also walked home across New York late at night.

Great idea and service to provide a map but not clear by what the various ones mean. In my immediate reaction the only one I see is "harm to children". Ever heard of any child being attacked so does that also include children hurt by car accident which I have heard about.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I'm a born and bred Londoner and was never the victim of street crime. I've been inappropriately touched on trains in Japan more than I was on the Tube.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

That's strange. With all the recent stories in JT, there's no mention of family members killing their children, or children killing their elderly parents.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It would be interesting to analyse this map in detail.

After a quick look : there a lot of groping and exhibitionism in the cities, but going in the country it's traffic accidents and old people missing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looking at that map, four fifths of Japan seems to be crime-free. Conversely, over 90% of the crime seems to be concentrated in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Looking at that map, four fifths of Japan seems to be crime-free. Conversely, over 90% of the crime seems to be concentrated in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.

Most likely because the developers are based in the major cities and get their data from the big police departments. Remember this ISN'T a government website so the data has to first be retrieved from the government then uploaded, most likely the case is they don't gather much data from the smaller areas.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

It’s very safe whether you are a man, woman or child. 

Says a man. Why not read what the female JT poster write and realize very few of them would agree with your statement? People keep going on and on about how safe it is here. Is it safer than many other countries? Yes. Is it "safe"? Nope. More so for women and children. Perhaps this map will enable many who stay silent to "report" what has happened to them and open the eyes of the deniers?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Says a man.

Says the stats. My sex has nothing to do with it.

Why not read what the female JT poster write and realize very few of them would agree with your statement?

I've read what's written, and I've also been in Japan for over 20 years, and known lots of women, both foreign and Japanese. I've heard the issues, and I know there are some weird dudes out there.

Ever notice how JT is full of people whining and hating on Japan and thinking it's the worst place in the world? If you only knew Japan through JT, you'd think it's a positive hell hole out there. Having lived here for 20 years though, the overwhelming majority of people I know and have known here do not share that same opinion. This is a place for the whiners to collect and vent.

And that's how I feel about the women's safety issues. Sure, they exist, and they shouldn't, and we should deal with that. But even with that all said, it's still way safer than almost every other country in the world - even for women. This is not my personal opinion, it's the stats, which are backed up by the conversations I've had with real-life women, rather than a bunch of people hating on Japan on the internet.

Is it "safe"? Nope.

Other than the 'nope' part of your answer, I agree!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Actually in Japan, it seems that the subtle indirect type crimes(uttering obscene words, showing abdomen, throwing body fluid, stalking, groping in the crowd towards children and women) are comparatively many while the direct type crimes(assaulting, raping, robbing) are few.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Zichi: What do you mean about walking across NY? You have me confused.

I should be more weary of pick pockets. Those people are good.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Haruka

@Zichi: What do you mean about walking across NY? You have me confused.

Going home late into the morning after visiting a club I would walk across NYC often down empty streets who never had a problem with it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites