Hi Blog. So much for those (like the NPA and the GAIJIN HANZAI rags) that assert that foreign crime is on the increase. Not this time around:
Number of crime cases involving foreign suspects down in ’06: NPA
Kyodo News/Japan Times Feb 9, 2007
Police took action in 40,126 criminal cases in which the perpetrator
was believed to have been a foreigner, excluding permanent residents
and members of the U.S. military, down 16.2 percent from the record
high logged the previous year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.
There was a large drop in cases of suspected theft from cars and
vending machines, which contributed to the overall decline, the NPA
said, adding that police and volunteer groups have increased street
patrols and crime-prevention programs.
The number of foreigners who are suspected of committing crimes in
Japan but have left the country reached 656 as of the end of 2006,
according to NPA statistics, which have been kept since 1980 and do
not cover permanent residents or U.S. military personnel here.
The NPA said 38 of the people who left Japan have been charged by the
authorities of their home countries at the request of Japan since
1999, including 19 Chinese, 14 South Koreans and one Japanese-Brazilian.
The number of cases of foreigners charged under the Penal Code fell
16.9 percent to 27,459 last year. , while those under other laws,
mostly related to illegal drugs, dropped 14.6 percent to 12,667 cases
and involved 18,895 suspects, down 10.8 percent.
Money-laundering up Kyodo News A record 137 cases of money-laundering
were uncovered last year, up 25 from the previous year, with the
underworld accounting for some 40 percent, the National Police Agency
The NPA attributed the uptrend over the past few years to stepped-up
efforts by police to investigate mob-related money flows.
In 90 cases, suspects attempted to disguise or conceal criminal
proceeds by using the bank accounts of others, and similar means. In
46 cases, money was knowingly received from crime suspects, the agency said.
The Japan Times: Friday, Feb. 9, 2007
Yet, as Japan Probe reports, the Japanese press (the Mainichi Shinbun, at least, notorious these days for this sort of thing) has to bend over backwards to make a sensation about foreign crime:
Earlier this week, I posted a link to an article that cited statistics that showed a 16.2% decrease in crime by foreigners in the last year. Here’s how Mainichi Shinbun covered the story, as pointed out by From the inside, looking in:
For a taste of Japanese journalism, I point you to the reporting of the statistics by the Mainichi newspaper.
The Japanese version.
毎日新聞 2007年2月8日 10時53分
The English version.
Number of crimes committed by nonpermanent foreigners declines in Tokyo
The number of crimes committed by nonpermanent foreign nationals in 2006 declined in Tokyo, the National Police Agency (NPA) said on Thursday.
Police investigated 27,459 cases nationwide of suspected crimes allegedly committed by nonpermanent foreign nationals in 2006. The number is 16.9 percent down from the previous year.
By region, Tokyo’s figure, 3,802 cases, was 10 percent less than in 1991. But in the Chubu region of central Japan, the number stood at 7,716, a staggering 35.4 times the number of 1991.
The 279 cases in the Shikoku region shows a rise of 21.5 times that of 1991. The number for other regions such as Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chugoku, Kinki and Kyushu, all increased from 15 years ago. The number for the Kanto region actually rose if Tokyo’s figure was excluded.
The figures reflect the surge in foreigners living in areas outside of Tokyo.
“We have beefed up our efforts in Tokyo, forcing foreign criminal groups to flee to other regions,” an NPA official said.
Of the 27,459 suspected crimes, 67.9 percent were committed by groups of at least two foreigners.
In 2006, 40 foreign nationals left Japan after allegedly committing crimes, the NPA said. The number of foreign nationals who have been accused of committing crimes in Japan and of fleeing totaled 656 by the end of 2006. (Mainichi, February 8, 2007)
JAPAN PROBE COMMENTS:
The Japanese headline reads: Foreigner Crime: Increasing in the regions (ie outside Tokyo) – Up 35-fold in the Chubu Region in 15 years
The English headline: Number of crimes committed by nonpermanent foreigners declines in Tokyo (I see they can’t even concede that it decreased on a national aggregate level)
Hmm…interesting how a sensationalist headline about rising crime by foreigners can magically “translated” into a less offensive English headline about a decrease in crime!
I commented on Japan Probe shortly afterwards:
Arudou Debito Says:
February 10th, 2007 at 1:09 pm
Heard this from a Mainichi reporter during my travels (he came to one of my speeches, took me out for dinner afterwards):
There was a recent crime involving two Japanese, one Chinese.
The headline (assigned by a different person than the reporter) was “Chuugokujin ra ga…” commit the crime.
When he asked the editor why this misleading headline was being created, he said the editor said:
“Inpakuto ga chigau kara”
(The impact is different.)
Yes, it certainly is. Mainichi has been receiving a lot of flak from human rights groups for its misleading headlines. Thanks for pointing them out. Debito in Wakayama
Foreigners just can’t win, I guess. Even when the crime rate goes down… Shame that this is even happening in the most liberal of the national newspapers, the Mainichi. Debito in Kurashiki
1 comment on “JT/Kyodo on foreign crime *decrease*, yet Mainichi focusses on increase”
Chief Editor of the Mainichi Daily News Ryann Connell took the trouble to respond to the thread regarding the difference in translation (thanks). I print his reponse here for the record, since I can’t seem to post a comment at Japan Probe at the moment…
Ryann Connell Says:
February 12th, 2007 at 8:06 am
A few points:
1) Thanks to all for having so much interest in the Mainichi and for Japan Probe’s regular support of our stories. Please keep it up!
2) The headlines are different because the original Japanese headline has missed the point of the story. The English translation is not a good one, but read the text of the Japanese story and it’s main point is clearly more along the lines of the English headline. Though we work together closely, the Japanese and English versions of the Mainichi are different, with the Mainichi Daily News (English) an independent publication in its own right (even though highly dependant on translations). But discrepencies between the languages will exist with nearly every story, mainly because news articles are written differently in English and Japanese.
3) The Mainichi abhors any allegation of racism or bias and totally rejects any such claim.
4) I have seen every article of correspondence that has come through official channels to the Mainichi Daily News since April 2005 and we have not received “a lot of flak from human rights group about misleading headlines.” This claim is simply untrue, unfounded and irresponsible.
Mainichi Daily News
Arudou Debito replies:
THANKS RYANN. I AM SURE YOU ARE BUSY, AND I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME COMMENTING ON OUR BLOG ENTRIES (YOUR TRANSLATIONS FOR THE WAIWAI PAGE ARE MARVELLOUS; I AM A FAN.)
REGARDING ITEM FOUR ABOVE, SAYING THAT “THIS CLAIM IS SIMPLY UNTRUE, UNFOUNDED, AND IRRESPONSIBLE”:
THE HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP NETWORKS THAT I AM ON IN JAPANESE (such as erd-net, ijuuren net, and s-watch) HAVE COMMENTED SEVERAL TIMES REGARDING MAINICHI SHINBUN COVERAGE. THIS MIGHT NOT BE REACHING YOUR ENGLISH MAINICHI DAILY NEWS INBOX. IF YOU WOULD LIKE, I WILL FORWARD THEM TO YOU FROM NOW ON SO YOU CAN MODERATE YOUR REBUTTAL ABOVE A BIT.
IN ANY CASE–MORE SPECIFICALLY IN THIS CASE–THE DIFFERENCE IN HEADLINE IS STARTLING, AND I (NOT TO MENTION MANY OTHERS IN MY GROUPS) BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO SAY THAT MAINICHI COVERAGE IS TRYING TOO HARD TO ZERO IN ON THE FOREIGNERS WHEN CRIME IS THE ISSUE.
MIGHT NOT BE A “BIAS” IN YOUR VIEW. JUST A MATTER OF “IMPACT”, ACCORDING TO MY MAINICHI REPORTER FRIEND RECENTLY. BUT IMPACT ISN’T QUITE WHAT RESPECTIBLE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS OUGHT TO BE AIMING FOR. DEBITO IN KURASHIKI