Japanese police have blamed deteriorating public security in the country on foreigners, despite figures showing that 96 percent of the nation’s crimes are committed by Japanese.

According to a white paper released by the National Police Agency on Friday, an increase in organized crime is one reason for the record level of crimes committed in Japan last year. The report is titled, “The Fight with Organized Crime.”

In 2002, according to the report, there were 34,746 cases in which foreigners were arrested or their cases were turned over to prosecutors, up 25.2 percent from the previous year.

These cases involved 16,212 people, up 10.6 percent. Both figures were record highs.

The cases included alleged violations of immigration laws and the Penal Code, the report says.

The total number of cases in 2002 — including Japanese — was 670,610, involving 414,183 people.

But while the NPA report singles out foreigners for Japan’s woes, alleged Penal Code violations by foreigners accounted for a scant 4 percent of all alleged crimes in Japan in 2002.

There were a total 592,359 alleged Penal Code violations in 2002 involving 347,558 people who were either arrested or had their cases sent to prosecutors, or both. Of the total, just 24,258 cases, or 4.09 percent, involved foreigners, the report says.

A total of 7,690 foreigners were involved in the 24,258 cases, it says.

Cooperation between international crime groups and Japanese crime syndicates “is a threat to Japanese public security,” it says.

According to the report, 61.5 percent of Penal Code violations involving foreigners were committed by groups, about 3.3 times the percentage of group crimes committed by Japanese.

Crimes “are becoming more organized with clear role-sharing,” the NPA said.

Cases of robbery and theft were particularly organized, with some gang members serving as lookouts and others taking care of transportation, the report says.

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