For most people, most of the time, it's a cliche that's hard to argue with: Japan is a safe country. But what safeguards are in place for women when it isn't?
In fiscal 2015, 1,167 rapes and 6,755 cases of indecent assault were reported to the police across Japan. That might not sound like a lot. After all, the number of rapes reported in the United States and United Kingdom (excluding Scotland) in 2015 were 124,047 and 36,312, respectively. Adjusting for population, these figures suggest a person is around 40 times more likely to be raped in the U.S. or U.K. than in Japan.
However, the Japanese government's own figures show that more than 95 percent of rapes are not reported to the police. Working from these numbers, the real figure for rapes in the country could be more than 27,000. Until July, Japan's legal definition of rape also excluded anal or oral penetration, meaning many female victims of these kinds of attacks — and all male victims — were counted as victims of indecent assault rather than rape.