crime

No. of murders in Japan in 2013 drops to postwar low

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I'm actually surprised there are that many. Thought it would be less than a 100 for the whole year. I wonder how many it wouldbe if you exclude yakuza-related hits.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Indeed a safety country. compare to the numbers we saw for Venezuela the other day.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I recall that the Aum Shinrikyo cult murdered around 24 people before 1995 subway attack, which prompted the criminal investigation. Otherwise, those murders would have gone unreported.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The number of murders in Japan peaked in 1954 with 3,081 cases.That's when the population was around 88,239,000.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm happy and proud that I live in the most peaceful country in the world.

0 ( +12 / -11 )

This article goes out to people on this site who panic whenever they read an article on here about a murder.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

I'm not sure about their statistics. I have read that Japanese police misreport murders as suicides and often do not autopsy the victim.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/09/world/fg-autopsy9

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Is Venezuela relevant to this?

Its an interesting claim that murders are being called suicides. I never considered that before. But it makes sense given the lack of autopsies.

Plus, all run ins I have had with police make me think they are a shifty lot. I long learned to expect forthrigheousness from them.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The suicide rate was the highest last year, number fudging I really hope not. This is good news.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

939 unlawful deliberate killings or attempts to kill in 2013

Wait - if the phrasing is correct, then Japan's homicide rate is much lower than stated and the comparisons indicated would be apples and oranges. Sloppy writing.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@tamedcat I'm also happy to live in a safe country but it's worth pointing out that some other countries have lower crime rates than Japan.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I think most of the people posting have ignored the final paragraph of this article. The numbers are fiddled with to make them look good, as are most statistics in Japan.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

A respectable figure for any nation, but lets not forget Japan has one of the lowest rates of autopsy practice in the world (11% of all deaths). How many murders are never discovered?

Low autopsy rate seen abetting murderers (Japan Times, 2012) http://tinyurl.com/kw5623g

4 ( +10 / -6 )

lowest rates of autopsy practice in the world (11% of all deaths).

When old people die in nursing homes, is there a need to perform an autopsy? Given the percentage of seriously old people in this country, it's not surprising that there autopsy rates are low. Also with universal health care, more people die in hospital than at home, which often means no autopsy.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

and JT reported every one...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@disillusioned

I think most of the people posting have ignored the final paragraph of this article. The numbers are fiddled with to make them look good, as are most statistics in Japan.

How do you know that most statistics in Japan are fudged? That's simply biased BS like many posters here who resort to attacking any "good " published figures when they don't align to their negative views of the country.

There is without a doubt a problem with the low rates of autopsies in Japan due to the lack of professionals who can conduct them but that doesn't extrapolate to a national conspiracy of false statistics.

5 ( +15 / -9 )

That's even less than the number of assassinations back home in Puerto Rico. Considering how small the island is compared to Japan, like two or three prefectures put together... And people still ask me why am I way on the other side of the planet.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The LA Times reported on the issue of Japan's low autopsy rate back in 2007: http://articles.latimes.com/2007/nov/09/world/fg-autopsy9

Whatever about the accuracy of the stated figure, I would guess that it's counterbalanced by the fact the in Japan's case the total also includes attempted murders and even plans to murder. Surely they would outnumber actual murders? A UNODC survey in 2011, which counts only intentional murders, gives a 2008 figure of 646 for Japan, and a later report gives 506 for 2009. Interestingly, and unusually, Japan has about a 50/50 male/female ratio of both victims and perpetrators. http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/Homicide/Globa_study_on_homicide_2011_web.pdf

Whatever about the country's many other failings, Japan's high level of personal safety and security is a wonderful thing.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Also with universal health care, more people die in hospital than at home, which often means no autopsy.

A person who died at it's home, the autopsy is inavoidablly carried out by law. Yes, I remember when my father- in- law died, his corpus was immediately moved to the police, from his home and stayed one night at police. We have an odd feeling, but it is as sense.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But the number of frauds increased 10.5 percent Among violent crimes other than murder, robberies decreased 9.0 percent. However, sexual assaults increased 13.7 percent and arsons 5.7 percent.

In 2013, the police cleared 394,169 crimes, down 9.9 percent, and took legal action against 262,554 persons, down 8.5 . The crime clearance rate, or the rate of solved crimes versus all reported crimes, fell 1.9 percentage points to 29.8 percent, sinking below 30 percent for the first time in eight years.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

One of my wife's distant relatives was found in a ditch beside a rural road next to his bicycle, which showed no evidence of having been hit by a car. The police concluded he had swerved to avoid an automobile (never traced), ended up in a ditch and died of exposure, aided and abetted by the influence of alcohol. No autopsy was performed. As it happens, I think the police theory is quite plausible (certainly more plausible than a random killing in the countryside as he was riding home) but given the uncertainty, surely Japan should follow the lead of most industrialized countries and investigate properly in cases like this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

NZ had only 78 and all but one were resolved. NZ po. 4.5 mil. Bout the same rate.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

NZ had only 78 and all but one were resolved. NZ po. 4.5 mil. Bout the same rate.

Not sure about 2013, but for 2012 Hong Kong had only 22 homicides with population of 7.1 million. Much lower rate.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Police forces often falsify data and guide arrests to support different areas of crime. There is no way that human behaviour changes 8% in one year.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

How do you know that most statistics in Japan are fudged?

randomman, it would be saying to much to say "most", but the way Japan mixes categories that others separate, it indicates a certain sloppiness that does seem intentional. For example:

The National Police Agency recognised 939 unlawful deliberate killings or attempts to kill in 2013

Why are attempts mixed with actual killings? At first glance it does not seem malicious though, it just seems stupid.

But there are other examples. Like if a person dies from a car accident 24 hours after the accident, its not included in the traffic fatalities stats.

And just last week they were blaming the drop in traffic fatalities on seat belt awareness and the crackdown on drunk driving, but other posters were quick to point out more relevant factors, such as demographics.

In fact the wiki on "crime in Japan" states "there are controversies regarding crimes committed by non-ethnic Japanese people and misconduct by police in reporting crime statistics." We are not just making this up.

Another thing gleaned from that wiki article: "Japanese authorities also solve 75.9% of robbery cases and 95.9% of homicide cases.[3]"

Really? Abysmally low autopsy rate, widely criticized interrogation system, restricted access to lawyers, suspects are rarely afforded bail, and a supreme over-reliance on confessions. But they managed to solve 95.9 percent of homicide cases in 1989? Forgive my state of disbelief, but it sounds to me like they railroaded suspects rather than solved homicides.

There are lots of reasons why many of us don't trust Japan stats, but I don't think any of us are keeping a register so its hard to be specific.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

but for 2012 Hong Kong had only 22 homicides with population of 7.1 million. Much lower rate.

Perhaps, but Hong Kong is not a country.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In many industrialized countries, (like US) they usually report the homicide rate which includes suicide. It would be interesting to see the numbers of suicides included in this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even if the numbers are fudged a bit, Japan is still a safer place and I don't need statistics to tell me that. All I do is just walk in the middle of the night and be pretty sure that I won't be harrassed or robbed.

Try that in the middle of Detroit at midnight. What's the saying? You're safer in Tokyo at Midnight than you are in Detriot at Noon?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I believe the differences between the Japanese and western legal culture is a major reason for the significant gap between the crime rate in Japan and the West. In Japan, the loyalty base group formation cause both a sense of security and an infinite number of repressive rule. When these two elements are bound together, they produce high self control which acts as a powerful force restraining people from committing crimes. This in contrast to the Western worlds emphasis on the personal attribute based group formation limits the permissive nature of rule and the restrictive freedom of action. In fact all do contribute to weakening the crime prevention mechanism stressing the role of punishment more than prevention. Therefore in Japan the low crime rate is due in part to the unique group based society. However what impresses me is the power of a strong culture norm and how influential it is in Japanese society. The fact that Japan is also the most homogeneous society in the world has no doubt in my mind made a difference.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

just a 1000 murders, but 30,000 suicides a year??? clearly you need not worry much about being killed by another person.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Compared to other large industrialized countries, Japan is a very safe country. I am not sure how anyone can dispute this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese traffic fatality statistics from the Japanese National Police Agency use "death within 24 hours" for national monthly and annual comparisons to observe changing trends. They also provide a separate detailed statistical report for "death within 30 days" which is common amongst many countries for international comparison. Both timeframes have merits and demerits which can include or not include death from other causes. Insurance companies also have a need for varying "ageing" traffic fatality statistics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Unlike Japan, Switzerland doesn't fudge its numbers by undercounting homicides, and is actually the safer country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maglev, they have to keep up the illusion that there is ONLY one safe country in the world. Japan is very safe. I think we all know that but I'm sick of hearing how the rest of the world is so 'dangerous.'

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Under counted homicides means there are likely some killers running around but maybe not the type that would strike again which is helping with keeping positive records.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is it true that there are over 10,000 missing persons every year though in Japan?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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