Crime in Japan – Two on a bike!

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Posted by jamie | Posted in Personal | Posted on 22-07-2009

This is my short entry for this months blog matsuri on what is strange in Japan. Thanks to Gakuranman for hosting this months matsuri and for thinking of such curious rules.

Before coming to Japan, I had pretty much given up on humanity. That would happen to you too if you lived in the wonderful multicultural steaming p#sspot called England. What shocked (and pleased) me about Japan was the low crime rate, especially considering how worthless the police here are – they spend most days attempting to give a good telling off to young high-school couples riding tandem – until you realise that policing and crime rate have very little to do with each other. Why does Japan have such a low crime rate then? Perhaps it’s a more fundamental social aspect of the culture here. In England, it’s almost as if being nice and considerate to someone is permanently uncool nowadays. But that isn’t a reason, it’s just another result. Some might say that it’s down to the education system, but having spent 6 years teaching in the public education system here, I’d be inclined to disagree. No, I’d reason it’s down to something a lot more fundamental than we all want to admit – vigilant monoculturalism. By which I mean, Japan has done an incredible job of making Japan a country for Japanese only (cue flames), and I have to say I really respect them for that. That’s what keeps this country safe.

Comments (11)

I’m pretty sure this whole post is a joke, because you must know that the low crime rate in Japan is linked to a lack of economic disparity as the Japanese have built a social and political system which keeps a large middle class in place (though that is changing). As the number of poor people grows, the crime rate goes up (as it has been). Economics and access to resources drive both crime and international conflict.
.-= Orchid64´s last blog ..Will Miss #14 – (literal) global perspective shift =-.

Actually, it’s a semi-joke. The joke is that Japan is always blaming crime on the foreigners, and in a round-about way, they may actually be right.

I think it’s obvious that poverty is one of many contributing factors to crime rate, but I don’t believe it’s the main one. I’m sure they are examples of incredibly poor communities in the world with very low crime rates – and I’ll bet you they are also mono-cultural.

And who said Japan has no economic disparity? Take a ten minute where I live in Kyoto and you’ll go from the fashionable rich neighbourhoods through middle class and into the high rise poor areas. They have just as much disparity as England. It’s not the money – it’s the fundamental cultural differences between people that create tension, and crime.

I do actually believe that everyone in the world *could* live together in peace and be considerate to one another, but only if we all agreed to a new global culture and eradicated religious inclinations. They the only thing between us would literally be the colour of our skin, which is a pretty retarded thing to discriminate against.

The main reason that Japan has a low crime rate is that they don’t prosecute crimes… not when they can intimidate people.

For example, what would happen if you were to be attacked in the street? (It happens although the Japanese tell you it doesn’t.) Well, a good idea is to NOT defend yourself! If you do, you will be charged with assault… this happens whatever the circumstance – 5 Japanese people attack you or 5 non-Japanese. Any action at all is an assault… if you prosecute you will be prosecuted.

And please don’t bother looking into Labour Law ’cause the neat system is NEVER supported… everything will be hushed uo and ignored.

In Japan you keep quiet. And keep the lie alive. Safe country… just so long as it never happens to you.

Dug the angle….agree really, although it’s also the kinda society that constantly fights like an immune system to squeeze me out…. ;-P
.-= Craig´s last blog ..If it Bleeds, We Can Kill it (Although I hope it stays alive so we can suck it dry some more) =-.

PS: To the post above mine….I’d have to say that out in my little rural Japanese neck of the woods, I’d have to say I’ve been dealt with mostly rationally and treated far fairer than most American police have ever treated me….albeit the Japanese police encounters have been extremely slow and ponderous….less bruises though…..
.-= Craig´s last blog ..If it Bleeds, We Can Kill it (Although I hope it stays alive so we can suck it dry some more) =-.

Although this post is long gone, I can’t help but throw in another two cents.

I would also agree that economic factors are at least one of the primary factors in crime, and also that cultural differences can exacerbate these problems. This doesn’t concern me as much as some of the implications of Jamie’s statements, however.

Specifically, if Japan is to be admired for being “vigilantly monocultural” and pursuing a “Japan for the Japanese” policy, how are western societies supposed to learn from it? Are immigrants in places like Europe, Australia and North America to be subjected to the erasure of their ‘mother cultures’ and forced assimilation? Or should they simply be deported en masse?

Jamie’s site has been very helpful, and his posts and comments elsewhere indicate to me that he would likely condemn either of these possibilities. I would just like to draw attention to the conclusions that one might draw based on these statements. When different cultures encounter each other conflicts can occur, but just as there are poor communities with low crime, there are also numerous examples of multi-cultural communities, cities and even regions where harmony was the order of the day; and when conflict did break out, it was often a consequence of the chauvinist policies of national elites.

[…] Englishmen in Japan? Or the multiculturalism vs. monoculturalism debate, tempts Frugalista. You […]

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