Japanese crime rates have now fallen to some of the lowest in the world.
The streets may be packed, but as a recent report by The Economist points out, they are certainly safe.
Crime rates in Japanese cities have been on the decline for over a decade now.
According to the study:
The murder rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people is among the lowest in the world; in America it is almost 4 (see chart). A single gun slaying was recorded for the whole of 2015. Even yakuza gangsters, once a potent criminal force, have been weakened by tougher laws and old age.
All of this bodes well for anyone making plans to attend the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The country’s police force have been quoted as saying that they will take a “light-touch, high-tech approach to Tokyo 2020 security”
A senior official of the Metropolitan Police Department told the Japan Times; “We will prepare to be on the highest possible alert, working in collaboration with overseas intelligence agencies,” a senior MPD official said. “But we don’t want to provide the kind of heavy-handed security by gun-carrying personnel that was seen at the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.”
Japan now has over a quarter of a million uniformed police officers, which is over 10,000 more than they had a few years ago. This means that, even as crime is dropping, recruitment is on the rise.
The decline in serious crime means that there has been additional focus placed on what may be deemed as petty crime in other countries. This includes cycling offences, minor graffiti and possession of marijuana. According to police officials, however, the citizens of Japan are getting better at ‘policing themselves‘.