The government and media would have you believe that Japan has lost its mantle as a safe country. Apparently we live amidst a spree of heinous crimes. Accurate? Not very, according to a new academic study. But before we get to that, let’s take stock of one alleged cause of this “crime wave,” this decade’s boogeyman, the foreign criminal.

In May 1999, the National Police Agency established the “Policymaking Committee Against Internationalization” (“Kokusaika Taisaku Iinkai”), with budgets for public warnings and periodical bully pulpiting. In 2000, the committee got to work coloring the national debate, developing policy against the inherent criminality of an internationalizing Japan.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.