Hi Blog. Two topics today for the price of one: The NPA spending our tax monies to target the bad guys (if they’re NJ) again, and how the J media is not reporting crime rates properly, again.
Hang on to your hats. folks. It’s the NPA “Foreign Crime Report” time of year again. Yes, twice a year, we get appraised of what our boys in blue are doing to stem the hordes and save the country. (We get little of this NPA assiduity for domestic crime; after all, the sociology of crime means that police get blamed if domestic crime rises, but get encouraged budgetwise if foreign crime rises.)
So this time the biannual deluge is buried within an NPA “soshiki hanzai jousei” general report released this week. Despite the “general”-sounding title, the dirt on the NJ crooks starts from page eight, and continues throughout the total 47 pages.
Conspiring foreign crooks are everywhere, it seems. With so little focus on the pure Yamato yakuza, it looks like organized crime is the most international thing about Japan. Lots of stories and case studies of NJ evildoers (with a special focus on money laundering from page 13; maybe this is why banks are targeting NJesque accounts and transactions recently).
For example, here an illustration of the web of intrigue that NJ get up to, from the NPA report page 31. Note how the Japanese criminals (usually not included at all in any police-published visual specs of foreign crime, see page 22) are only involved in two stages of the game.
(Love the NJ kingpin’s 1990’s cellphone.)
But oh oh for the NPA: For the third straight year, foreign crime is, er, um, down. However will they justify their budgets for the NPA’s Kokusai Taisaku Iinkai?
Don’t worry. You’re not going to hear that good news in the Japanese media. At least, not in an unadulterated form. Because when it comes to foreign crime, good news is no news. Short AP article, then comments follow:
Number of crimes by foreign visitors down for 3rd year
Associated Press Feb 26 2009, courtesy MJ
TOKYO, Feb. 27 (AP) – (Kyodo)—The number of crimes committed by foreign visitors in Japan fell in 2008 for the third consecutive year to 31,280, down 12.6 percent from the previous year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.
The number of foreign criminals, excluding permanent residents, also dropped in 2008 for a third straight year to 13,872, down 12.8 percent, it said.
Both figures peaked in 2005, according to the NPA.
Of the 31,280 cases detected by police, 23,229 involved violations of the criminal code, while 8,051 involved immigration and other violations, the NPA said.
Chinese people accounted for 35 percent of the detected crimes, or 4,856, followed by South Koreans at 1,603 and Filipinos at 1,486.
Meanwhile, 633 foreign suspects fled abroad, the NPA said.
Well, good. But look what a Google News Search turns up: No articles in the Japanese media, which in the past fell over themselves to scream alleged foreign crime rises (see examples in the Yomiuri, Sankei, and the Asahi). Or in the case of the Mainichi, crime rate falls were headlined as falls in English but as rises in Japanese). Evidence: Screen capture today, current as of Midnight February 28:
You’d expect that if the overseas media has reported this, the domestic news certainly would have by now. And it would no doubt would quite assiduously (if the past is any guide) if it had been a crime rate rise.
So if it bleeds it leads, sure. But if it bleeds and it’s foreign, it had better be BAD news or else newspapers aren’t going to break their stride, and give society any follow-ups that might paint a rosier picture of Japan’s immigration. What negligence and public disservice by a free press.
I’ll include below the text of Mainichi article featured in the Google News search above. It’s also instructive of bent reporting. Note how the headline does mention the crime rate did drop, but of course tempers the cheers by following up with assiduous reportage on how it’s also rising — in the provinces, as group crime increases. The body of the text also tempers any fall with a rise, zeroing on Chinese perps (same as the above 47NEWS article), making sure the last thought you’re left with after reading a paragraph is how crime is increasing.
毎日新聞 2009年2月27日 10時34分
I wonder how they’ll translate this for an English-reading audience (if they ever do; they haven’t as of this writing). Hopefully they won’t sweeten it for tender NJ eyes like last time. Arudou Debito in Sapporo