Take the 2-minute tour ×
Travel Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've now been to Japan I think seven times in the past fifteen years, for durations between 24 hours and three months.

I had always found Japan matches or exceeds reports of being perhaps the safest country in the world where you can go anywhere any time of day or night and pretty much trust everybody without fear of being a victim of any kind of crime.

Until about a month and a half into my most recent trip when all my money was stolen while I was using an onsen. I hadn't put my valuables in a locker because they weren't free and because of my previous experience and perception of safety in Japan.

This has made me wonder if there are some actual statistics regarding foreigners or tourists being victims of crime in Japan.

I'm interested in any kinds of stats along these lines: Which crimes are most common against tourists? Which prefectures, cities, or parts of cities have higher crime against tourists? Which kinds of places are riskiest? (Are onsens listed?)

Please do not answer with an essay on how safe Japan is and how such things hardly ever happen. I've already said that and I agree. Now I want some raw stats please.


Related but different questions that will only get linked if I don't do it myself first:

share|improve this question
1  
Couldn't find any stats on a quick scan, but it's worth mentioning one reason crime stats are so low is that the police are very reluctant to record crimes. I'm fairly sure I was pickpocketed on a bus once by a dodgy dude who sat next to me, but the cops ended up recording my wallet as "lost" because I couldn't prove it had been stolen (...how, exactly?). –  jpatokal May 27 at 22:16
    
Yes I had a scan a few weeks ago too. I thought there could be other potential sources besides the police such as travel insurance companies, surveys, studies, tourism advisory offices of foreign countries, etc. –  hippietrail May 27 at 23:52
1  
Great question man! I believe there should be some statistics on Japanese news websites or maybe Yahoo JP but English language results are super hard to find. :/ –  Aditya Somani May 28 at 0:47
1  
From comments here (@jpatokal) and elsewhere (eg. japantimes.co.jp/community/2013/10/23/voices/…) it seems that any statistics you might be able to find could be grossly under reported. –  Spehro Pefhany May 28 at 5:12
1  
@Geeo: I reported it to the onsen management so they would be aware it happens. I didn't report it to the police since only untraceable cash was taken from a room with no security cameras and I didn't have travel insurance so didn't need a police report. –  hippietrail May 28 at 12:22
show 3 more comments

1 Answer 1

The Japanese Police Agency only lists crimes committed by foreigners (and does have them listed by both country of origin of the offender, and part of Japan they were committed in).

The Wikipedia Article focuses again on crimes committed by foreigners, rather than crimes against foreigners.

The best that I can find is the US government site on visiting Japan:

The general crime rate is below the U.S. national average. Crimes against U.S. citizens usually involve personal disputes, theft, or vandalism. Pickpocketing and other petty crimes do occasionally take place in crowded shopping areas, bars/nightclubs, train stations, and airports. Every year, a number of U.S. citizens report their passports lost or stolen at Narita airport.

Other high-risk areas for crime include Shinjuku, especially the areas of Kabuki-cho, Shibuya, and Ikebukuro. However, all personnel should use caution in all entertainment and nightlife districts throughout Japan. Incidents involving U.S. citizens since the spring of 2008 in these areas include physical and sexual assaults, drug overdoses, thefts of purses, wallets, cash, and credit cards at bars or clubs and drugs slipped into drinks.

(No, these are not stats)

There are very few foreigners in Japan (especially if you separate out those with special permanent residence). The crime rate is also incredibly low (for instance, there were 1,031 thefts reported across the country from the months of January to April 2014). In a year you'd likely not get a single incident reported in a every prefecture.

I would bet that due to the incredibly small sampling size, if the government doesn't record them, there isn't much a chance of getting an objective estimate from a third party. I tried to find something, but (understandably) the Japanese are more concerned about crime by foreigners, or crime against tourists/immigrants from Japan in places overseas.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.