Yes Japan is just as safe as the United States and in certain towns they use to hit people over the head the military and ship them off to military camps and if you said no then they would throw you off the boat and you would die so not as safe as they say it is in Japan.
A few years ago I was in a conversation concerning crime in Japan as compared with other first world countries so I decided to do a little research. I was a little surprised to discover that their crime rate is actually just as high as the rest of us once population density is taken into account. (The actual measure rather then population ratio's. Small spread out area's have less crime then densely compact ones.) I had expected the rate to be quite lower due to the difference in culture and their focus on public shame as a deterrent. Instead I discovered that the cultural difference just changed the face of the crime and the homicide rating was just as high as the rest but was reported differently to save face. In Japan most people who commit homicides kill themselves as well (to save face) however if they kill themselves or are killed by the authorities then they and everyone they killed are listed as suicides (so the authorities can save face too)... and now you know why the suicide rate for Japan is so high. It's not just their teenagers freaking out over school.
While the crime rate is indeed speculated to be MUCH higher than reported in certain areas, especially the realm of sexual crimes, the murder rate is rather low... even taking population density into account. Muder-suicide is also a fairly Western idea... Ive not heard of any murder-suicides recently, and nearly all violent crimes make the headlines in one form or another. If murder-suicide were indeed so common, there would be very little need for the death penalty...
Lack of access to firearms is a contributing factor in the lack of -successful- murders... but random acts of violence like slashing are on the rise as is violent youth crime.
Suicide is still a much larger problem than murder... but the only criminals who regularly seem to choose to take their own lives are involved in politics or business and are outed for corruption. Its not uncommon at all for a public figure or CEO to toss himself out of a window upon conviction of a coorporate crime.
Murders per year per 100,000 people -
Japan - 1.1
Germany - 3.9
England - 1.03
USA - 8.7
population in the UK is 60.6 million
population in Japan is 127 million
It then follows that there are more murders per year in Japan than the United Kingdom... more than twice as many... but its still in the lower range of nations in the realm of murder.
murder-suicide rates are not currently recorded by any census/statistics bureaus so its difficult to find anything more on the subject than hearsay. A search yeilds no papers or studies done on murder-suicide in Japan... only a handful of articles detailing cases of murder-suicide. Still, gut feeling... and 3 years of watching the news every morning would imply the rate is not particularly high.
Perhaps youre mistaking statistics for group suicide or family suicide as murder-suicide?
Crime in Japan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Japan Reference - Society - Crime in Japan : analysis per nationality
i dont really no if japan is safe or not but from what i hear its not safe at all
As for the link suggesting crimes are decreasing in Japan an article written in the Japan Times about issues with the police force being corrupt, not reporting crime, and being unprepared for increased crime would indicate otherwise. That one I read within the year.
I know that it isn't what you hear, that is my point. What you hear and what is reported isn't the reality and we can thank the Japanese cultural attitude of public "appearance" and "shame" for it. Yes there is shame if you are caught committing crimes but there is also shame for the police that have these things happen in their jurisdiction so they have an incentive to pretend it didn't happen. It reminds me of when I was in high school and our principle cracked down on drug use and didn't care who knew it so as a result it got into the papers. In response the principle of the next high school over released a statement that they, unlike my school, had no problems with drugs and it was unnecessary for them to take any such steps. We all laughed our heads off because most of our druggie friends would go over to the neighboring school to buy their drugs from the dealers. What their principle reported was simply not reality and saying otherwise didn't make it true.
As I said before I was surprised to find that the crime and homicide rate was as high in Japan as it actually is since I assumed it would be less based on all the same reporting you are talking about as well. When I did the research tied to population density I found out otherwise. Sorry I can't give you the links but it has been so long I wouldn't even know where to start so believe it or not, your choice.
During my stays in Japan I could walk down the darkest alleys in the middle of the night in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Nagasaki, Kurashiki and other places. Something I wouldn't do in many large European cities.
You must never let fear get to you Tsurara.
I'm a little flustered that someone can read a few isolated net studies and call it "research" when two degrees in Japanese Sociology and History apparently count for bupkis since I'm obviously being lied to :P
All due respect but... while I may have been fed a sanitized version of Japan from my short stay at a Japanese university, I have found my American education to be both brutally honest and based almost entirely on a proliferation of well-documented evidence... a lot of which I was required to read in order to graduate. Four years of experience living in the nation, fluency in the language and extensive travel hasn't opened any gigantic holes in the information I was given.