Five reports on Japanese crime and punishment you may have missed:

  • The number of consultations sought by victims of sexual abuse and violence from support centers across Japan rose 15.5% from a year earlier to 23,050 in April-September, the Cabinet Office’s gender equality bureau said. Some young victims complained that they were abused by people they met through social media while their schools were closed due to the pandemic.
  • The Justice Ministry has introduced a system whereby the executions of death row inmates are reported to victims of criminal cases via mail or phone if they wish. Victims and their relatives and attorneys will be informed of the executions and the when and where they were carried out. Death row inmates themselves learn of their impending demise on the day of the execution.
The Justice Ministry is now informing victims' families about the executions of death row inmates if they wish. | KYODO
The Justice Ministry is now informing victims’ families about the executions of death row inmates if they wish. | KYODO
  • Almost 4,000 cases of suspected money laundering were reported to police in 2019, nearly triple the figure recorded the previous year, the National Police Agency said earlier this month. The police attribute the increase to the rapid expansion of e-money payment services that allow people to make transfers easily and cheaply.
  • A new requirement that shoppers pay for plastic bags — previously distributed free of charge — has compelled many of them to bring their own bags to put their purchases in. But the charge, implemented nationwide in July, has come at the cost of an undesirable side effect, reports the Chugoku Shimbun: a rise in shoplifting.
  • Police spotted around 2,600 vehicles with diplomatic license plates illegally parked in 2019, with drivers not paying fines in about 75% of cases, an NPA official told the Diet last month. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said the offenses were “extremely regrettable” but did not respond when a member of an opposition party proposed that the government disclose the names of the countries involved.