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Major industrialized countries such as U. S. A. and U. K. periodically conduct surveys in order to identify the actual situation of damage caused by crime. These surveys reveal how frequently each type of offense has been committed, including the unreported figures, that is the number of offenses not reported to the police.
The International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS)has been conducted every four years mainly by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, targeting citizens, in order to identify trends in crime (risk of damage due to crime by type of offense, reports to the police, fear of crime, etc. )more clearly and make an international comparison on damage due to crime. In the fourth ICVS conducted in 2000, about 50 countries and regions including 17 major industrialized countries participated. The Research and Training Institute of the Ministry of Justice, within the framework of the ICVS 2000, conducted a survey from February 4 to 29, 2000 through interviews in line with a questionnaire, targeting 3,000 men and women aged 16 years or over who were selected randomly nationwide.
Though the 2001 White Paper on Crime refers to the questionnaires used in the ICVS, some alterations were made to them in the actual survey conducted in Japan.