In the last 10 years, how has public safety changed? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2]

The Cabinet Office Japan recently released a survey into people’s thoughts about public safety in Japan. 3,000 people aged 20 or older were chosen by random, and between the 14th and 24th of December 1,795 of them, or 59.8%, took part in face-to-face interviews. Of those who did not participate, 124 had moved, 79 were on long-term absenses from home, 365 were not at home, 58 could not be found, 514 refused to participate, and 65 did not take part for other reasons. Demographically, 54.1% were female, 8.9% between 20 and 29, 15.0% between 30 and 39, 16.9% between 40 and 49, 21.9% between 50 and 59, 20.7% between 60 and 69, and 16.7% aged 70 or older.

The “gaijin hanzai” comment is related to the recent uproar regarding widespread availability of a magazine playing on precisely the fears expressed in this survey.

When I first heard about this survey I was really keen to get hold of it and translate it, but when I saw quite how much the fear of the foreign peril seems to have been stirred up, I got quite depressed. When the news of this poll appeared on Japan Today I posted a sarcastic comment (that got pulled by the moderators!) about how I was disappointed that foreigners did not make the list of dangers in that summary by Kyodo News. Little did I know that it was perhaps selective editing by the press so as not to hurt our English-speaking feelings. About the only bright spot I can find is that international terror organisations, etc, (with that “etc” covering local terror groups, the main ones so far that have actually attacked Japan) are not high in people’s concern. Note though that Q5 mentioned only international terrorists, there is no “etc”, or other questions on local loony groups.

Q1: Do you think Japan currently has good public order and is a safe country to live in? (Sample size=1,795)

Think so 12.3%
Somewhat think so 33.9%
Don’t really think so 35.7%
Don’t think so 16.9%
Can’t say either way 0.9%
Don’t know 0.4%

Q2: Within the last 10 years do you think that public safety in Japan has improved or got worse? (Sample size=1,795)

Become better 2.4%
Become somewhat better 8.9%
Become somewhat worse (to SQ) 46.6%
Become worse (to SQ) 37.7%
Can’t say either way 4.0%
Don’t know 0.4%

Q2SQ: What do you think are the causes of worsening public order? (Sample size=1,513)

Crime by foreigners in Japan has increased 55.1%
Sense of community has weakened 49.0%
Child and youth education is insufficient 48.1%
Various information that people can easily get their hands on has flooded in 43.8%
Punishment for crimes is light 39.3%
Citizens’ level of conduct have dropped 37.2%
Economic outlook has worsened 29.7%
Few uniformed officers in police boxes (koban), on patrol, etc 20.9%
Organised crime (yakusa, etc) has increased 19.3%
Police crackdowns have been insufficient 18.1%
Other 1.3%
Don’t know 0.8%

Q3: At which locations do you worry that you or those close to you might fall victim to crime? (Sample size=1,795, multiple answer)

On the street 60.2%
Shopping districts 44.7%
Cyberspace 40.1%
Public parks 37.4%
Car parks 24.5%
Lifts (elevators) 21.5%
Railway stations 19.3%
At home 15.9%
In trains, aircraft or other transport 15.5%
Other 0.4%
Nowhere in particular 4.8%
Don’t know 0.7%

Q4: What sorts of crime do you worry that you or those close to you might fall victim to? (Sample size=1,795, multiple answer)

Housebreaking whilst at home 53.1%
Pick-pockets, purse snatching 50.0%
Drunk-driving traffic accidents, hit-and-runs and other traffic dangers 49.9%
Abduction of self or children 42.5%
Violent assault 42.2%
Fraudulent sales or money-forwarding schemes 41.4%
Theft of or from motor vehicles 40.3%
Internet crime 39.9%
Murder, violent robbers 34.4%
Groping or other sexual assault 28.2%
Loan-sharking 17.5%
Stalking 17.5%
Bosozoku bike gang dangerous riding, noise pollution, etc 17.2%
Drug sales, drug abuse 13.9%
International terrorist organisations or other terrorist incidents 13.2%
Other 0.2%
None in particular 2.5%
Don’t know 0.6%

Q5: To what kinds of individuals or organisations do you worry that you or those close to you might fall victim to? (Sample size=1,795, multiple answer)

Emotionally unstable or random slashers, etc 59.9%
Habitual criminals; thieves, etc 43.3%
Foreign crime gangs and illegal immigrants 38.9%
Bosozoku or juvenile delinquent gangs 37.7%
Yakusa and other organised crime 29.8%
Drug dealers or users 17.0%
International terrorist organisations or international terrorists 12.8%
Other 0.2%
None in particular 6.8%
Don’t know 2.1%

Q6: Recently, which of the following crime trends do you think there has been? (Sample size=1,795, multiple answer)

Criminals are becoming younger 77.2%
Crime is becoming more cruel 66.5%
Crimes targeting old folk or children are increasing 61.3%
Crimes occur with simpler motivations 58.4%
Indiscriminate crimes in broad daylight are increasing 51.6%
Crimes on the internet are increasing 43.6%
Crimes by foreigners are increasing 41.9%
Crimes are becoming more complicated and ingenious 29.2%
Yakuza, theft gangs, and other organised crime is increasing 14.0%
Other 0.3%
None in particular 0.4%
Don’t know 0.3%

[part 1] [part 2]


Lily D'Auru · November 18, 2010 at 12:03

I’m not sure, to be honest. Japan is a beautiful and complicated country. I feel it’s best summed up in this documentary.

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