• Kyodo News

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Crimes committed by foreign visitors to Japan fell for the third consecutive year in 2008 to a total of 31,280 offenses, down 12.6 percent from the previous year, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The NPA said the number of foreign criminals, excluding permanent residents, also fell for a third straight year, to 13,872, down 12.8 percent.

Both figures peaked in 2005. Of the 31,280 cases police handled, 23,229 involved criminal code violations and 8,051 immigration and other offenses.

Chinese nationals accounted for 4,856, or 35 percent, of the crimes, followed by South Koreans at 1,603 and Filipinos at 1,486.

Meanwhile, 633 foreign suspects fled abroad.

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