How safe is Japan?
日本の 犯罪率は とても 低いです。だから、日本人は、じぶんの物が 盗まれる 可能性や 夜に 一人で 歩く 危険性を あまり 考えていません。
たとえば、カフェで席を 取るために、机の上に 携帯電話を 置いたまま、その場を 離れることも よく あります。
警察は、自転車に 乗っているときや、散歩中に 立ち止まったときなど、小さな 確認で 声を かけてきます。
乗っている 自転車が ぬすまれた 自転車でないかの 確認だったり、外国人のばあい、在留カードを 持っているかの 確認だったり・・・。
安全ですが、いつも 確認されると、 少し 不便です。
If safety is one of your concerns when traveling or living abroad, then Japan is most definitely a destination that might interest you.
This country regularly ranks as one of the safest in the world, especially if we exclude countries with very low populations such as Iceland – it’s easier to trust everyone when you all know each other.
The crime rate in Japan is so extremely low that people don’t even entertain the possibility that their things might get stolen, or that they shouldn’t walk alone at night. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there is absolutely no crime – there’s bound to be a few bad apples and you shouldn’t be too careless. But the low crime rate does reflect on Japanese people’s behavior.
It is not rare for Japanese people to leave their hand bags or smartphones on the table to save their seat, or to leave their belongings in their bicycle basket while they’re away. If you do lose your wallet or backpack, there is a very high chance that it ended up in the nearest “koban” (a Japanese police box), so you should definitely check there.
If you forget your bag in a restaurant and leave, the staff will chase after you and find you even hundreds of meters away, so that they can give it back. And with a smile, too!
As a foreign resident, it’s possible the police will stop you to ask if you have your 在留カード (“zairyu card”, or residence card). It is illegal for foreigners to not have either this card or a passport on them at all times, so it is allowed for the police to stop you just to check if you broke that particular law. You should definitely make sure you have it with you any time you’re out. If you’re riding a bicycle, they might also check you didn’t steal it. All bicycles must be registered with the police in Japan and Japanese people are sometimes stopped for this reason as well, especially at night.
It might seem strange to non-Japanese people to get stopped for no particular reason, but the police here don’t often have big matters to attend to, and so they focus on more minor offenses like jaywalking or bicycle theft. Don’t take it too personally and you’ll be fine. It’s a minor inconvenience compared to not being able to go for stroll at 1am and not having to worry about it!
Hi, I’m Sergio.
I’m from Spain, lived in the UK for seven years and came to Japan in 2012.
I majored in journalism in London and have been teaching English in Tokyo.
I like traveling, cycling, photography, movies, and spending time with friends.
I wrote articles about life in Japan as a foreigner and anything that I might find interesting.
My email is ” firstname.lastname@example.org “, by all means contact me about anything!
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