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How safe do you think Japanese society is, compared to other countries?

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I reckon Japan is relatively safe compared to other foreign places say for example: Osaka.

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I think Japan has truely adapted to globalization so far safety is concerned. How sad when they claim being unique and homogeneous society !

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This is a vague question, safe in this case have a bunch of different meanings. Safe from crime, safe from foreign influences, safe as in a non-risk taking society. Perhaps a bit more effort could have been put into the question.

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could have a bunch* pardon the error.

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Safe for the most part. I'm not afraid to walk the streets anytime at night on one hand, then I see the mom with her kids standing up on the front seat while she smokes and talks on the cell while driving.

So, it's safe for who?

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I still feel safe walking along any street in Japan at night, something which I would hesitate to do in any other country. Most of the violent crime seems to be within families, the result of stalking or insurance-related, rather than random attacks on the street, though, of course, those cases are increasing.

I tend to be more on my guard on train platforms in case some nut decides to push me in front of a train.

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The only thing I find unsafe are the drivers. They drive at insane speeds through narrow streets, completely cut corners and rarely indicate.

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What exactly is a "Safe Society"? And how does that differ from a "Safe Country"?

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I think it is safe but considering that where I am from in my home country, they average one murder every 10-15 years, I guess I've never really lived in a "dangerous" place. I have to admit that, like Smartacus, I am on my guard on train platforms but walking at night is not a problem. I run at night, sometimes after midnight, and I've never had a problem. I've been observed by the police on several occasions but never stopped.

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Like others have posted, a fairly vague question.

Crime wise, I feel very safe. I can leave my wallet in the trolley at the supermarket and not think twice about it being stolen. I'm not afraid of getting mugged in the city when I walk around at night.

But if I was a girl and had a psychotic boyfriend, I'd probably feel in danger.

For parental attitudes towards their kids' safety, I think Japan is probably one of the lowest among developed countries. (Better than Vietnam, India, China etc. but not as good as Canada, US, Europe, Aus etc.)

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Agreed with what has been said above. Love the fact that I can walk freely at night without any stress or fear about getting mugged. There are hardly any fights when you go out at night. My homecountry (Holland) theres almost every week a brawl at the club or bar.

But yeah traffic-wise Japan could use some extra rules and learn some manners.

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Heh, yeah, there is very little visible violence here. But how about the invisible violence?

Domestic violence, "ore-ore" scams, gambling (which should be illegal here, right?) present everywhere, human trafficking being ignored, most other organized crime being ignored, and so on and so on.

In a way there is no need for violent crimes here. If a criminal wants money he can just call an old lady and she will give it to him.

Is that a "safe country"?

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If the Japanese economy keeps getting worse, Japanese society will be unsafe. Thailand is unsafe because of the economy and political infighting.

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Compared to Broken Britain, Japan is like heaven. Here, I can go out for a drink and not have to worry about some chavs starting a fight for no reason other than sick entertainment. Come to that, there is basically no chav culture here, thank goodness. But yeah, driving here is terrible. Just the other day I saw a SCHOOL BUS with the driver letting a little girl stand in the aisle and talk to him while the bus was moving!

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With regards to crime Japan is relatively safe. I'm not afraid to wear my Oakley sunglasses here unlike in my home country. Although the recent rise in knife attacks is getting a bit scary.

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Japan gets my 1 out of the 195 countries in the world.

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It seems safe as long as you don't still live at home in your 30s

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Japan is like Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. There are dangers, but they are in the form of bizarre comedy and Oompaloompas.

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I have to say NUMBER 1. Coming from America I can not begin to tell you how safe I feel here (in Japan). Sure there are a few crazies, but they are few and far between. My VERY first night in Japan I was staying downtown in the heart of Tokyo. I wanted to take a little walk, I had a few beers. Before I knew I had no idea where I was, the name of my hotel, or how to get back. I wandered around until about 2 am all alone in the biggest city in the world. Not for a second did I feel scared or worried about my safety. Even the first day in Japan, I felt safe. I DARE you to walk alone in the dark in any USA city at 2 A.M.

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Dog or cats on the laps of stupid drivers / Kids jumping up and down on the front seat or peering out of the front windscreen with their head 1 inch from the glass / People on bicycles who just ride straight out in front of cars without even thinking for a second that perhaps the car won't stop / People on motorbikes talking on cellphones as the ride / Old people that decide the world is theirs and walk straight out in front of your car or bicycle / bike riders who have no brain to think that the car they are zipping up along side has their indicator on so might want to turn left.......yeah it is a safe society in a real weird sort of way.

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In Japan, you're safer outside your home than inside it, unless you're in a car.

As for the question itself, it seems a paraphrase of one of those late-night bar encounters with a drunk salary man who wants to chat with a foreigner: "Japan is safety country, yes?"

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Safe on the surface but messed up beneath in the undercurrent. Yeah I can walk my dog and listen to my iPod without fear of getting jacked. I can drive without fear of stopping at a redlight with my windows open...But I would worry adn fear for my kids given the perverts in the country, the bullying at school and also the whackos who go around looking for helpless targets to kill just to satisfy an urge to live out a video game.

There are places where on paper its more dangerous, but I would say that many of those places are more predictable. There si danger, but equally you can figure out how to avoid it.

Bottomline, would I move back to japan to live and raise my kids...no.

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Sexual assaults are apparently rampant here judging from the stories I hear from every woman I know - yes, each and every one has been assaulted on a train at some points in their lives. To that end, it is not a safe society at all. (Assuming by 'safe' JT means the ability to avoid becoming the victim of a crime.) As a man, however, I feel pretty safe. The ghettos here aren't nearly what they are back in the good ol' USA.

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The issue of safety and how it is perceived is very much one of personal opinion. In many respects, I believe that the level of civility within Japan on a day-to-day basis (people generally not being confrontational) does make the society rather safe in general terms. At the same time, however, there is a social dynamic in this country that sees the strong (or the group) prey on the weak. As such, you have well-publicized cases of bullying, etc. both within the education system and also wider society. Moreover, I don't really go for the Japanese sexual objectifying of women. On any given day, you can sit on a train and be amazed by what the person next to you is reading. In line with this, I am inclined to believe that a rather high percentage of assaults carried out against women in this country go unreported.

On a personal level, given my own physical stature and forceful personality, I must say that I have never really felt threatened in this country. Then again, I am not the sort of person who puts myself in a dangerous position. That being said, however, I should point out that I have had a couple of interesting run-ins with the locals over the years, all being the result of the other party being inebriated.

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Very safe. Walking at night is fine.... Honestly the only time I wasnt safe was a knife in the back in Roppongi 13 years ago by an Iranian. I was just walking down the street with two gals arm in arm and apparently I looked in his direction and he thought I was laughing at him, and I nearly died there on the sidewalk. The only time I ever saw violence on the street here was in Roppongi. Navy guys brawling, Nigerians brawling with the Iranians with bats and broken bottles... or Iranians stabbing Iranians over drug turf (often killed). Saw a guy get clipped (shot in the head) outside a bar in Shinjuku by the Yaks. So I am a rare case me thinks... Like the others stated. Depends on a few factors. If money is involved and debts owed they take em to the cleaners. In the US you watch the news and you get your murders and robberies or what not for a city. In Japan you get it for the country and that says a lot. Japan is safe as hell but it went through its dark times in the 50s and 60s however when the money poured in 70s and the 80s combined with winning the peace it became super safe. Japan comes in 7th according to some polls. I would say certain areas of Osaka are dodgy and the cops have been on the patrol near my place here as loads of pick pocketing and shoplifting has spiked at a nearby Donki (they have a cctv rouge gallery by the check out).... I agree with all above and some crime goes unreported. A guy told me once criminals in Japan EXPECT to get caught and have a 90% conviction rate.... much different from the US and it does have one of the lowest murder rates in the world even with 85000 Yakuza. Just always keep your guard up and if you got kids dont let them out of your sight (cars & train platforms). Do wish they would beefen up child porn laws also....

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I wont bother with the white collar crimes..... ; )

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very safe, as woman i am not afraid to walk at night alone

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Japan is like Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. There are dangers, but they are in the form of bizarre comedy and Oompaloompas.

So true! While being in Japan the only real danger i encountered was a nerdy-looking guy trying to peep my wife from women public toilets. At the time i noticed it and yelled at him, he almost had a heart-attack and ran away like a 100m sprinter.

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Very good question! It's a paradox...

Japan is a very safe place to live in. The people are intelligent, gentle, and kind.

However,

Japan is also a very depressed overworked society and many people are popping anti-anxiety drugs like they were breath mints.

Plus there is the undercurrent of the Yaks and the entrenched bureaucracy.

If people would stop bullying one another, and double the minimum wages and this would be paradise.

All in all Japan seams to be moving in the right direction, with it's juries and citizen inquest panels.

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Second to none, I don't have to worry about someone trying to kill me over my material possessions.

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I don't think that anyone would disagree that Japan is a "safety country". There are zero no-go areas and I've never, ever felt threatened here.

However, judging by the stories on JT, if you're Japanese, you do seem to have a disproportionally high risk of being murdered by someone in your own family.

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As a woman, I feel incredibly safe in Japan, much more so than in my own country. Sure I've run into the odd flasher or train groper, but I've never actually felt in danger of being violently assaulted here. Last night I felt peckish at 2am and went for a stroll to my local convenience store, something I'd never dream of doing in any other big city in the world.

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Japan is safer.

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Definitely and it's clear by the woman posters. As a man I fee much safer as the average local nerds are afraid of interacting to foreigners.

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I've lived in half a dozen countries around the world, most of them first-world, and Japan is without a doubt the safest. Their police force is proactive in seeking out threats to the community rather reactive like 99% of the world's police forces. I can forget to lock my door and not worry, I see countless people leave their car open and running while they dash into the combini, etc, etc. The only things that are likely to be stolen are bicycles, umbrellas and pens... especially the first two.

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Each country is different but I will say being a foreigner in Japan has been a very safe experience for me. I am very tall and seem very intimidating to others so I never get the same attitudes from others like I would in the US and some parts of Europe. I never have to look over my shoulders most of time at night and I like that.

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Just about like any other place I've visited (with the exception of Ciudad Juarez) - if you go looking for trouble, you typically won't like what you find.

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As a young woman, I feel generally safe from assault/property crime. I live in a very urban area of Tokyo and honestly, the only place I could see myself feeling truly unsafe in the city is Roppongi. I would never go there alone at night. Kabukicho? Fine. North Ikebukuro? Fine. But never Roppongi. Shibuya is a little iffy.

You do hear about a lot of random stabbings of the "I just wanted to stab someone" variety, so I try to be very careful and watch the people around me for anything suspicious. But I think I do that anywhere.

But as far as sexual assault, I always feel like I have to be on guard. If someone walks behind me too long, I start to change my path. If someone is standing too close, I try to move away. You never know if someone is going to try to cop a feel or follow you home. And you have to worry about those guys who pull the "I watched her come home every day, had to have her, and wound up killing her" folks. I am always worried about something creepy like that happening. But it can't be helped, can it? I have had way more trouble with Japanese guys being creepy and stalkerish than I've ever had back home. They don't take kindly to rejection or being ignored or told "no" for any reason.

So while I don't feel unsafe in "society" I'm always worried that some dude from the train will try to follow me home (has happened) or some student will turn stalker (or worse). I feel like I have to be very vigilant about not letting guys know where I live beyond a vague idea or else they might wait outside the station for me. And always carry something pointy. A ball-point does well in a pinch.

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i was born and grew up most of mai life in Sapporo in Chuo~ku until i was 16 and i never felt afraid to go outside in the day or night time. i never felt afraid to go visit the park at night and i confess i met mai bf there a few times late when i was supposed to be sleeping. Now i have lived 3 years in USA in the state of Idaho, surrounded by giant strangers who stare at me because mai skin is golden instead of pink or brown like theirs and because i am small. So many people carry rifles visibly in the back of their pick-up truck windows and there is so many drug-related shootings even in this suburban small town where i live now near the city. There is not even 1 night without the sirens of police and ambulances here. It was so very much safer living in Nihon.

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Have lived in Phoenix and NYC and can say Tokyo is great. Don't need to worry if the wife has to come home late nor do I worry about my teenage son getting shot. Obviously as a decent sized guy I don't get messed with. Women need to be a bit more cautious due to the prevalence of chikan etc. Back in Phoenix the Mexican gangbangers like to wave pistols at you and take pot shots for the fun of it. Worked with a guy from Brooklyn who was moving back because PHX was just too dangerous. (early 90's, may not be as bad now.) NYC wasn't as bad in terms of gangs but there were still plenty of weirdo types and general thugs. Felt much safer in Manhattan than PHX. (crime, not terrorism) I love this place, basic common sense and you are fine. Yaks are seriously scary, but as long as you don't voluntarily enter their world, they generally leave you alone.

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Jpn is very safe but its also very dangerous, yeah if yr a guy you can walk around with little worry(JT ladies as some of you know you need to watch yrselves here so pls do!). Car driving is scary, one thing I am not sure anyone mentioned is drunk driving, its still a big problem if you live in suburbia parts of Jpn its still very common & often worry about the mrs driving home when she works late as we see lots of cars at night that look like the drivers are intoxicated.

Jpn is very safe & very dangerous so be careful out there!

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Their police force is proactive in seeking out threats to the community rather reactive like 99% of the world's police forces

Frungy, you've got to be kidding, right? All the police here do is sit in their little kobans or ride around (slowly) in their cars with the lights on not actually doing anything - that is when they're not getting drunk and groping women or committing other crimes. Ask your average J citizen, especially a woman, if they trust their police force.

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kurumazaka - I'm in Tucson. I can say it's much worse up in Phoenix now than it was it the 90's. The east valley isn't that bad, but you'd have to a complete nut to want to venture alone into the west valley (like Avondale, Goodyear, and Peoria).

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kurumazaka - forgot list Maryvale too

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No doubt Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. But the other side of this safety is quite expensive: it is a bland country, in comparison to other more dangerous countries which on the other hand are fun.

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Safe

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I am from the Caribbean and Japan is much safer crimewise. But if we were to think about all round safety, as mentioned in posts above, here you run the risk of being outed by members of your immediate family than anyone else. This does not happen on such a large scale back home. The suicide rate in Japan points to it being a country lacking in 'mental safety' If 30,000 people died at their own hands back home, (or the equivalent percentage with regards to the population sizes) That would be equal to an entire community dieing. I don't think that they could recover from that. So, yes it is safe but only physically so.

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Only time I ever felt threatened in Japan was when I came across some hunters after deer.

I played it safe - stood still and whistled a tune - no animal can do that.

Anyway, I may have scared the game off but they did invite me for a beer once we all went back down to the village where they were from. Nice guys but I had a long trip home. Should have taken a rain check though :-)

Anyway, Japan is as safe as houses. You can't get around the occasional crazy. Speaking of which, I almost got shot by one back home. Heard the gunshots, if I was 10 minutes earlier getting to my car, my friend and I would probably have been shot.

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Safe

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I spent 6 years of living in Japan, and I say Japan as a country is very safe

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@mikanojo: Glad to see that you are becoming street smart. Just hope it doesn't paint a bad picture of the U.S. for you. Japan is safe on many different levels than most. But it still has it's problems. To many people in Japan think that this is happy land when it is totally not, and then some tend to think that other places are as well. In Guam I've seen to many Japanese tourist targeted because they are not street smart, didn't do the research and flaunt their status because it's a popular thing to do over in their homeland.

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@jj1980: why is being afraid to go outside in the city that you live in called becoming 'street-smart'? i confess that citizenship lessons gave me 1 picture of America.. and living here has given me quite a different picture. i am very very grateful for mai loving honorable gifu and the home that he provides for me here. I am also so very very blessed to have met 2 wonderful loving people who have made me part of their life! But if there were some way that i could have this loving family and live again in Sapporo then i would be there as soon as possible.

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Couldn't stand the ultra patriotism in the US, so I got out. Gotta say I'm loving it in Japan.

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Japan is the safest country of the 3 I've lived in. A mate of mine immigrated here from South Africa primarily because Jpn is exponentially safer. Where else can a hot woman walk home alone at midnight and not get harrassed, assaulted or raped?

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much safer than Australia..for men at least.

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Very.

Maybe not as safe as it was but still very safe by comparison to most (if not all)

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I reckon Japan is relatively safe compared to other foreign places say for example: Osaka.

Very funny. Am I the only person who noticed this? The irony was so subtle that no one got it. GEOGRAPHY FAIL!

KaptainKichigai at 10:51 AM JST - 28th April

Japan is like Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. There are dangers, but they are in the form of bizarre comedy and Oompaloompas.

This is hilarious. Bang on, too!

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Absolutely safe i feel, but i am always aware of suspicious weired person while in crowded place. God knows if he is hiding a knife to fulfill his grudge intentions.

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Who cares?

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Everyone says Japan is safer than just about every other country. I dunno, a thief broke into my apato in Tokyo, whereas no thief ever broke into my family's home, my relatives' homes, ny friends' homes or my home in the States...

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society? very dangerous :/ seriously! I see ppl who by all appearances, could use professional help. Some behave very oddly at public places (where else would you see them anyway).

Sarge, the police once told me that a thief broke into my place in Chiba. Nothing was missing. If they hadn't told me, I wouldn't know. That was very weird.

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XXXXX - Your thief was very considerate. Even more so than my thief, who probably would have stolen something, even though I really have nothing worth stealing except for my trusty old 25" analog TV and VHS deck, except that, unfortunately for him ( or her - I couldn't see him/her, just his/her flashlight ), and he/she took off as soon as he/she realized I was there.

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the safest country in Asia Pacific. No Doubt.

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The question about Japan being safe has changed. It used to be that Japan was incorrectly seen as a superlative as in the safest country. I no longer hear this from people. The obvious truth about Japan is that it is no more dangerous nor no safer than any country. The question of what is safe has to be raised. Is it personal safety or does it have to do with car accidents or natural disasters or public health risks such as smoking or any others dangers that are posed to you? In that sense, Japan is very average.

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seriously, no place on earth is safe now.

Relatively speaking, Japan provides you with a feeling of safety.

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Japan provides you with a feeling of safety which is not the same as being safe otherwise there would be absolutely no crime and other dangerous things happening in Japan.

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