Crime by foreigners in Japan down 16.2%

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    Sensationalist magazines might be claiming that crime by foreigners is a problem for Japan, but newly released statistics reveal that such crimes have actually declined:

    TOKYO — Police investigated 40,126 cases of suspected crimes by nonpermanent resident foreigners Japan, down 16.2% from a record high logged the year before, the National Police Agency said Thursday. A large drop in detected cases of theft from cars and vending machines contributed to the overall decline, thanks to enhanced patrols and other crime-prevention efforts on the street made by police and private-sector volunteers, the agency said.

    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 the NPA statistics, which do not cover permanent residents of foreign nationality or U.S. military personnel in Japan. The NPA said 38 of those 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 Brazilian.

    I’m not really sure what “suspected crimes” mean, or what acts are considered crimes in their statistics, but I suppose it’s good to see that we have yet to enter a pattern of each new year breaking a record for foreign crime [it’s also worth noting that the population of foreigners in Japan has been on the increase in recent years].

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