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  • Kyodo et.al falls for NPA spins once again, headlines NJ “white collar crime” rise despite NJ crime fall overall

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on February 27th, 2010

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    Hi Blog.  It’s that time of year again.  Time for the National Police Agency (NPA) Spring Offensive and Media Blitz against foreign crime.  Article, then comment, then some original Japanese articles, to observe yet again how NJ are being criminalized by Japanese law enforcement and our domestic media:

    /////////////////////////////////////////////

    No. of white-collar crimes by foreigners up by 31.2% in 2009

    Thursday 25th February, 2010 Kyodo News, Courtesy of KG
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/no-of-white-collar-crimes-by-foreigners-up-by-312

    TOKYO — The National Police Agency detected 964 white-collar crimes by visiting foreigners in Japan last year, up 31.2% from the previous year, it said Thursday. The number of visiting foreigners charged with such crimes came to 546, up 7.9%, according to the NPA. It said notable among the crimes was teams using faked credit cards.

    The overall number of crimes committed by all foreigners in the reporting year fell 11.1% to 27,790, with 13,282 people, down 4.3%, charged, the NPA said.

    ENDS

    /////////////////////////////////////////////

    COMMENT:   Yep. Same old same old. Parrot the NPA: Highlight the NJ crime rises, and play down the fact that NJ crime overall has gone down. And of course no depiction of J “white collar” (whatever that means) crime numbers, nor their ups or downs to give a sense of scale.

    NB: I can’t find the Japanese original for the Kyodo English article, only something in Kyodo’s Chinese-language news service (which avails us with the original terminology for “white-collar crime”, as “gaikokujin chinou hanzai” (lit. foreign intellectual crime); again, whatever that means). The structure is the same:

    ◆09年在日外国人智能犯罪案件骤增
    02.25.10 17:36
    http://china.kyodo.co.jp/modules/fsStory/index.php?sel_lang=schinese&storyid=78662
    【共同社2月25日电】据日本警察厅统计,除永久居住者外,去年赴日外国人犯罪案件中诈骗等“智能犯罪”急剧增加。案件数量较上年增加了31.2%,共964起;涉案人数为546人,增加了7.9%。

    其中使用伪造信用卡的多人诈骗团伙发案率明显居高。

    警察厅表示,不同国籍的团伙成员在世界各地重复犯罪的“犯罪国际化”对日本的治安也构成了巨大威胁,将重新构筑针对外国人有组织犯罪的调查机制。

    从外国人犯罪的整体情况来看,触犯《刑法》及特别法的案件共27,790起,减少了11.1%;涉案人数为13,282人,减少4.3%。(完)
    ENDS
    ======================

    The Sankei doesn’t defy its typical anti-NJ bent as it also parrots the NPA:

    外国人の知能犯罪が増加 前年比31・2%増の964件 564人摘発詐欺グループ目立つ
    産經新聞 2010.2.25 10:53
    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/affairs/crime/100225/crm1002251055012-n1.htm
    昨年警察が摘発した永住者らを除く来日外国人による犯罪のうち、詐欺などの「知能犯」が急増し、件数で対前年比31・2%増の964件、人数で7・9%増の546人となったことが25日、警察庁集計で分かった。
    偽造クレジットカードを使った多人数の詐欺グループ摘発が目立つ。
    警察庁は、多国籍のメンバーが世界各地で犯行を繰り返す「犯罪のグローバル化」が日本の治安にも大きな脅威になっているとして、外国人組織犯罪への捜査態勢の再構築を打ち出している。
    外国人犯罪全体では、刑法犯と特別法犯を合わせ件数が11・1%減の2万7790件、人数が4・3%減の1万3282人だった。
    ENDS
    =======================

    Jiji Press takes a different angle, headlining the drop in NJ crime and assigning possible societal causes, but still resorts to pointing out a rise where possible (in types of crime, such as theft and graft):

    外国人犯罪、5年連続減少=「生活苦」で窃盗、強盗増加−警察庁
    http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=soc_30&k=2010022500269
    2009年に全国の警察が摘発した来日外国人は、前年比603人減の1万3282人だったことが25日、警察庁のまとめで分かった。04年に過去最多の2万1842人となった後は5年連続で減少しているが、罪種別で見ると窃盗や強盗、詐欺などが増加。同庁は「生活苦による犯罪が目立つ」としている。
    国籍別の割合は、中国が36%を占めて過去10年間続けて最多。フィリピンやベトナムが10年前と比べ激増した。(2010/02/25-10:23)
    ENDS

    =======================

    And in a related note, the NPA is going “global” in its unified crime-fighting efforts:

    警察庁:国際犯罪、対応を一元化 部門横断的に「対策室」
    毎日新聞 – ‎Feb 22, 2010‎
    http://mainichi.jp/select/wadai/news/20100223dde041010004000c.html
    国際的な犯罪グループによる事件の続発を受け、警察庁は23日、犯罪のグローバル化戦略プランをまとめた。警察庁の各部局や各都道府県警察本部間の垣根を低くして情報の一元化と共有を図るため「グローバル対策室」を設置。韓国や中国の捜査当局との連携強化も視野に置きグローバル化する犯罪の解決や解明に乗り出す。【千代崎聖史】

    戦略プランの主な柱は(1)ICPO(国際刑事警察機構)の積極活用や、各捜査部門間の壁を取り払い組織横断的な情報収集を強化して、警察庁の情報管理システムに集約(2)海外勤務経験者を活用するなどして通訳・翻訳体制を充実(3)東アジアでの国際協力枠組みを構築し、共同オペレーションの推進。グローバル対策室は警察庁のほか各警察本部にも設置され、まず警察庁で約20人体制で発足する。

    従来の外国人犯罪は、短期間のうちに実行し出国する「ヒット・アンド・アウエー型」が主流だった。しかし、この数年は拠点など犯罪インフラの準備を入念に行うケースも増え、「ピンクパンサー」と呼ばれる国際的強盗団による宝石店強盗▽ナイジェリア人らによる身代金目的邦人誘拐▽多国籍グループによる広域自動車盗事件--など複数の国にまたがる事件が頻発。日本人が犯行拠点の確保などを支援し、組織の実態解明が困難なケースも多いため、警察庁はこうした犯罪への対策を最重要課題と位置づける。

    安藤隆春警察庁長官は同日の担当課長会議で、「全国警察一体で取り組まなければならない治安上の喫緊の課題だ」と訓示した。

    ◇初動早め情報共有
    日本と海外の捜査当局が連携して事件を解決したケースに共通するのは、初動の素早さと情報の共有だ。

    「助けて。マレーシアにいるの」。昨年12月13日、千葉県に住むフィリピン人女性(38)の携帯電話に、山梨県で食品工場の工員をしているはずの姉(44)から電話が入った。入管関係者を名乗る男が電話口に出てきて「薬物の容疑で連行した。釈放してほしければ1万ドルを口座に振り込め」と要求した。14日、女性は東京のフィリピン大使館に駆け込んで通報した。

    警視庁は通訳を派遣し身代金目的誘拐とみて捜査を開始。「金を早く用意しないと殺す」。脅迫の電話や電子メールは計16回。警察庁はICPOを、フィリピン大使館はマレーシアの同大使館をそれぞれ通じてマレーシア国家警察に情報提供を続けた。

    これを受けて、日本のフィリピン大使館とマレーシア・セランゴール州警察に対策本部が発足。州警察が携帯電話の発信電波からアジトの団地を割り出して包囲した。17日に犯人グループが被害女性を解放、ナイジェリア人5人とマレーシア人3人の21~35歳の計8人が逮捕された。女性は衰弱していたが無事だった。

    捜査関係者によると、犯人グループの男らは英語のチャット上に、欧州のビジネスマンを名乗り「結婚相手を探しています。40歳以上希望」と書き込み、返信した女性にはハンサムな白人男性の顔写真を添付して送信。誘い出したクアラルンプール国際空港で拉致した。アジトでは別のカザフスタン人の女性(43)を拉致していたことも判明した。警察幹部は「警察が国境を超えてリアルタイムで情報を共有し、解決できた意義は大きい」と話す。【千代崎聖史】
    ENDS

    Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    11 Responses to “Kyodo et.al falls for NPA spins once again, headlines NJ “white collar crime” rise despite NJ crime fall overall”

    1. Deepspacebeans Says:

      The most consistent definition of “intellectual crimes” I can find refers to them as being criminal acts performed without acts or the threat of physical violence, such as fraud.

      My primary concern is the following: they differentiate between “detected” foreign intellectual crimes and those foreigners charged with such crimes. How exactly could one reliably determine the nationality of the perpetrator of a suspected criminal without having charged anyone with the crime? I suspect they are also including in this figure the various cases where people claim that the perpetrator “sounded foreign”.

      Also, it would be useful to know whether or not this figure also includes incidences of digital credit card theft and other digital crimes, as these kinds of acts tend to be perpetrated from other certain countries which do not actively prosecute such crime.

      While I am glad that the vast majority of these articles at least mention the overall decline, I still would have to agree that the overall decline of 11% is statistically much more significant than the elements upon which they tend to be focusing.

    2. Plonker Says:

      In the New Zealand media the term white collar and blue collar crime have been used for as long as I can remember. White collar being the sort of things managers and such (the guys in suits with white shirts) do like embezzlement and fraud.

      Blue collar (ie people wearing their ‘blue shirts’ under their overalls and such – or at least was my interpretation from a long way back) crime is what the rest of us plebs do – like stabbing your coworker in the boning room.

      From my subjective observations from years of NZ telly, white collar stuff involving lots of money seem to get long sentences in low security prisons, blue collar crimes involving violence or violations of peoples basic rights seem to get short sentences in med-high security prisons… Still can’t figure out why we place such a high value on the dollar.

    3. David Chart Says:

      I’m not sure it’s fair to blame the NPA. Their report ( http://www.npa.go.jp/sosikihanzai/kokusaisousa/kokusai/H21_Z_RAINICHI.pdf ) starts by saying that the number of crimes has been falling steadily for five years, but that the number of arrests went up last year for the first time in a while. Their big graph on the second page also shows the decline quite clearly. (Deepspacebeans: most criminals commit more than one crime. The difference in numbers could easily be accounted for by that.) I think the spin is the newspapers’.

      To answer Deepspacebeans’ other question, the statistics are for crimes committed by foreigners present in Japan, excluding permanent residents, special permanent residents, spouses of permanent residents, US troops, and “people with unclear status of residence”, which may well be the officialese for “illegal immigrants”. So crimes committed in Japan by people living abroad are not included. (This is on the second page of the report, before the table of contents.)

      – Re the first paragraph. No, the spin is probably not the newspapers’. It is the NPA telling the cub reporters assigned to the police beat what to parrot. Announced at a time of day at a press conference where there’s not much time for analysis in order to make deadline. Happens every year with regularity and the same spin, as the police are pros at using the media to their own ends. Source: my conversations with those very cub reporters.

    4. David Chart Says:

      Follow up comment, sorry. I’ve dug a bit further into the data, and they do include illegal immigrants. The excluded group must be cases where they can’t work out whether they’re legal or not. Probably a small group.

    5. Jake Says:

      Subdivide into demographics enough and you’ll find a rise somewhere… there might be a 50% drop in overall foreign crime, but the 2% rise in foreign parking violations will find its way to the top of the article.

    6. Level3 Says:

      I’m pretty sure that software and DVD piracy fall under the “chinou hanzai” category, probably making up a large percentage. There was even a page or 2 on the topic in the infamous Gaijin Hanzai File mook.
      “Detected” crimes by foreigners would likely be cyber crime, such as rampant piracy via China (which I assume must have some component in Japan copying all those original DVDs)

      Another possibility would be that maybe the J cops started cracking down on streetcorner DVD and software pirates (I see far fewer in Osaka these days), giving verbal warnings to Japanese and arresting the gaijin. But that’s just a theory.

      I’ll look into the stats more.

      As always, I will assume all police stats have a built-in unquantifiable bias (amongst other biases) against foreigners regarding arrest numbers, since gaijin are targets for special attention from the police.
      Japanese natives are not regularly stopped and questioned by J cops (unless they’re otaku), and there probably aren’t many anti-Japanese racist cops and judges.

      But yeah, the xenophobic-justice-media system is so damned predictable. Any collection of multiple categories of data will almost ALWAYS show some increases and some decreases. Of course the overall decrease or individual decreases, don’t get the headline. For shame Kyodo.

    7. Norik Says:

      Here ‘s a link to a list of white collar crimes by type. From this list, only very limited number can be acted without some cooperation from the locals.
      http://www.ckfraud.org/whitecollar.html

    8. Level3 Says:

      Looks like this press release is part of this year’s ongoing string of reports on various subsections (gaijin crime, drug crime, etc) of what will probably be the ultimate release of the entire annual crime stat report. The complete crime stat report for the first half of Heisei 21 has been available since September, so I think the full Heisei 21 will be done next month, then we can compare gaijin crime -oops, I shouldn’t say that, gaijin ARREST rates (that’s what the stats really are, arrest rates, not actual crime rates, but since there’s the 98-99% conviction rate, no wonder the J police and media basically equate arrested suspect with guilty criminal) to the population as a whole.

      As usual the percentage fluctuations in the subsections of gaijin arrests can fluctuate wildly from year to year compared to national rates, because the actual numbers are so small. Example, the major violent crime arrest rate in the first half of H21 was 13.6% higher than the first half of H20. But that’s because there were only 88 cases in H20, and 100 in H21. So, in theory, a single jerk commmitting 2 armed robberies a month for those 6 months would singlehandedly cause a 13.6% jump in the gaijin major violent crime rate for the ENTIRE COUNTRY.

      Here’s a silly one, arrests for theft from vending machines are up 300% for gaijin.
      In that it was 1 ONE in H20(1/2)and it leaped all the way to 4 in H21(1/2). 4 gaijin in all of Japan arrested for stealing from vending machines. Gaijin vandals! ;)

      J cop stats pages (in Japanese)
      http://www.npa.go.jp/toukei/index.htm

      Have fun, but watch out for Turkish people, there was a 491% rise in arrests of Turks. They must be very dangerous. ;)

    9. Jake Says:

      Good work, Level3 — it’s pretty telling when you actually look into the stats and see where the numbers are coming from. Gaijin vandals indeed!

    10. GiantPanda Says:

      Level3 I believe that the 98/99% conviction rate is for those individuals who are indicted. Suspects are arrested and held for 21 days while the police “investigate” and then the police decide whether to indict or not based on the evidence uncovered during such “investigation”. If insufficient evidence is turned up, then the police will usually not proceed with the indictment. This is basically what happened in the Savoie case. He was arrested, but the police decided not to indict. He would not be included in the conviction rate statistics, since the case never went to trial.

      – It’s 23 days. 3 plus 10 plus 10.

    11. level3 Says:

      @GiantPanda

      That is a possible source of one of the other built-in biases in the data.
      My legalistic Japanese is not up to scratch, but I get the impression the J police data only reports arrests, as that’s their field, and prosecutions and convictions are probably in some other stat report I’ve never been able to find. They also report “clearances” vs. arrests, but I couldn’t figure out what “clearance” means as used in their English summaries. Sending to the prosecutor? Release? Both?
      I’d love to see a report on prosecutions if it exists. Anyone got a lead?

      The key data for us to look at would be the percentage of arrests that then A) Go to trial and B)Yield a guilty verdict.

      Would there be any difference between these rates for gaijin vs. Japanese?
      Though it would be hard to interpret.
      In hypothetical scenario A: 90% of arrested Japanese are prosecuted, while 80% of gaijin are.
      Some would argue this represents leniency to gaijin.
      Others (me) would argue this represents police overenthusism to arrest gaijin without sufficient evidence or cause, then grudgingly have to release them. Innocent NJ would be twice as likely as Japanese to be unjustly held for 23 days.

      In hypothetical scenario B: 90% of Japanese are prosecuted, while 95% of gaijin are.
      Some would argue this represents prosecution bias against gaijin.
      Others could come up with a counterclaim.

      Hypothetical scenario C would have equal prosecution rates for J and NJ.
      But even that could mean no bias at all, or a “cancelling out” of a zeal to arrest NJ despite insufficient cause combined a prosecution bias against NJ.

      Similar arguments again for conviciton biases, but the margins are pretty thin when we’re in the 98% range and there are so few NJ cases.

      It would also be nice to see comparisons of length of arrest periods, too. Are NJ more likely to be held for more of those 23 days?

      A case-by-case analysis would likely be necessary to figure out what, if anythingis going on,.

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