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The number of criminal cases in Japan fell 11.5 percent in 2005 from the previous year to 2,269,293 for the third consecutive annual drop and the largest rate of decline since 1946, the National Police Agency reported Thursday.

Although the number of criminal cases fell, the number of people aged 65 and older taken into custody increased 14.8 percent to 42,099 in the reporting year, the largest number since 1990, and about a fourfold increase over the last 10 years.

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