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  • Kyodo says foreign crime down in 2007, yet NPA stresses need for further crackdown (UPDATED)

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on February 29th, 2008

    Hi Blog. Quick article with comment following:


    No. of crimes committed by visiting foreigners down

    Courtesy of COJ

    TOKYO, Feb. 28 (AP) – (Kyodo)—The number of crimes committed by foreigners visiting Japan dropped for the second straight year to 35,800 last year, down 10.8 percent from the previous year, after hitting a peak in 2005, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

    However, the number of crimes detected by police during the five-year period from 2003 to 2007 increased some 70 percent from the period of with an NPA official stressing the need for further crackdown on them.

    Of the 35,800 cases, 25,753 cases were violations of the criminal code, down 6.2 percent from the previous year, while 10,047 cases were violations of special law, such as immigrant control and refugee recognition act, down 20.7 percent, according to the NPA.

    The number of foreign criminals arrested, excluding permanent residents in Japan, in the reporting year fell 15.6 percent to 15,923, of whom Chinese constituted 5,346, South Koreans 2,037, Filipinos 1,807, Brazilians 1,255 and Vietnamese 806.

    For nine criminals, Tokyo asked their home countries to punish them as they fled from Japan after committing crimes, bringing the number of such criminals to 48 since 1999.

    COMMENT: Pretty lousy social science. Not sure what “foreigners visiting Japan” refers to. Tourists? As opposed to “foreigners living in Japan”? Rainichi gaikokujin I assume is the original Japanese (that’s the word frequently used in this context by the NPA). That means residents.

    And what an odd sentence to make it through the editing process:

    “However, the number of crimes detected by police during the five-year period from 2003 to 2007 increased some 70 percent from the period of with an NPA official stressing the need for further crackdown on them.”

    From the period of what? From the period of the NPA official stressing the need for a further crackdown between 2003-7? No, that doesn’t make sense. It makes more sense that there’s an NPA official commenting for this article, meaning once again the NPA stresses a need for further crackdown. That’s illogical given this news.

    Which means the press is once again merely parroting without analysis. And we really need some better translators at Kyodo.

    The point is: the NPA will say anything, even make bad news out of good, to keep budgetary monies flowing in… Debito in Okinawa


    Here’s the original Japanese (and yes, it’s rainichi gaikokujin, and it does not include Permanent Residents. That still doesn’t mean “visitors”–there are hundreds of thousands of people who live here without PR as residents, not tourists.)

    外国人犯罪、2年連続で減 警察庁「高止まりの状態」



    (Literally: “On the other hand, when looking at the number of cases committed within five year periods, comparing the number of crimes committed between 2003-2007 and 1993-1997, there has been been a 70% rise. The NPA says, “Although there have been some rises and falls, in recent years it’s ‘been stopped at a high point’. From now on it’ll be necessary to for us to strengthen our crackdown even more.”)




    FURTHER COMMENT: So how many more years are we going to back up and say crime has increased? Why not go back to a time when there were a lot fewer NJ and look at crime stats back then? Calculating this way will always give you a higher number. Then you get perpetual justification for cracking down in the face of falling crime.

    Under this method, when can the police say, “We’ve done enough, we don’t have crack down any more on foreign crime”? Answer: Never. Because even if foreign crime fell to zero, they could still say that their past crackdowns have brought that about and we’ll have to continue cracking down.

    This is no longer anything even approaching a scientific method. Or even a logical method. It’s clearly just a political method.  And the Japanese press swallows it whole.  Debito in Okinawa

    8 Responses to “Kyodo says foreign crime down in 2007, yet NPA stresses need for further crackdown (UPDATED)”

    1. Daniel J. Says:

      Amazing conclusion the Japanese police have come to. I’d be nice to hear a “good job, gaijin!” once in a while.

    2. Tod Says:

      Yeah, pretty pathetic statistics. They can be used to argue any position.

      The note about increase in crime between 2003 and 2007 is hardly surprising considering that during that five year window a significantly large number of Japanese immigrants appeared.

      And in other news, I saw this in the newspaper this morning:

      “For the first time in U.S. history, more than one of every 100 adults is in jail or prison […]”

    3. TJJ Says:

      So crime by foreigners decreased. What about crime by Japanese? Did that increase or decrease over the same 2 years, I wonder?

      It’s also strange that in the last paragraph they count those 9 ‘criminals’ who left Japan before they were convicted (I take it). So the NPA includes in their foreign crime statistics crimes by people who are not convicted of those crimes? That’s a bit strange.

    4. Ke5in Says:

      I read the same thing in the Japan Times today … although they were careful to make it very clear this drop in crime was among tourists and didn’t include permanent residents :rolleyes:

    5. TJJ Says:

      I’d also like to point out that the reporting of these crime statistics always suffers from the same loose language. For example:

      “The number of crimes committed by foreigners dropped”

      The truth is, NOBODY knows how many crimes were commited by anyone. NOBODY. Because it’s not knowable. What CAN be reported is the number of arrests, the number of convictions, the number of reported crimes, the number of acuittals etc.

    6. Xyan Says:

      Asahi has a related articles:

      「不法残留2万人減 法務省まとめ」

      They only mention a drop in those trying reside illegally.

      2008年02月29日16時29分 朝日新聞




    7. Colin Says:

      It would be interesting to see how these statistics look if actually compared to the total number of foreigners who enter Japan annually. Without looking at the ratios, as suggested above by others, no scientific conclusion can actually be reached.

      If you had 10 arrests in 1990 compared to 70 arrests in 2000 then fine it represents a 7:1 increase in arrests in a ten year span. But if statistics show in that same period that a foreign population of 1,000 people in 1990, for example, increased to 20,000 people by 2000, we would have a 20:1 increase in numbers. Looking at this now, in 1990, exactly 1% of the population were arrested/committed a crime; but in 2000, only 0.35% of the population delved in the devious. Any fool can see this is quite a big decrease.

      If someone would like to crunch the numbers for Japan I would be very interested in seeing the results. I’m sure the NPA did actually check this out but realized the real truth wouldn’t help them and instead needed to spin it in a different way to be able to secure their budget to do what it is they do. Very weak that the media simply reported these bogus statistics and not one single article I read in Japanese mentioned something about more and more foreigners coming to Japan, hence the increase in crime numbers. Ratios are key here. Numbers by themselves don’t really mean anything.

      –There is no, and in my memory has never been, any deflator for NJ population increase when talking about foreign crime in Japan–either by the mainstream media or by public officials. Nor has there been much (none at all, ever, by the NPA in public) comparison with J crime. The NPA is not on a quest for the truth. And the media is not dragging it out of them. Given the power of the police in the interrogation room and the influence it has in the media, this is a huge systematic shortcoming that does untold social damage to the position of NJ residents in Japan.

    8. Jean-Paul Says:

      “NJ population increase when talking about foreign crime in Japan–either by the mainstream media or by public officials. Nor has there been much (none at all, ever, by the NPA in public) comparison with J crime.”

      Chuokoron, a major current affairs monthly, ran a significant article that made this very point in mid-2006. No online content, unfortunately. Several Asahi Shimbun editorials have made this point as well (concentrated, I believe, in late 2005, early 2006). The idea has made it into the media in Japan – not enough, however.

      –Thanks for the update.

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