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This chapter will give an overview of crime trends in other countries based on official statistics obtained in order to understand the characteristics of crime trends in Japan.
Four countries have been selected for comparison.They are France,Germany,the United Kingdom(limited to England and Wales;hereinafter the same in this chapter),and the United States of America.
Trends in number of reported cases,crime rate,and clearance rate for major offenses,homicide and theft are compared in between the four countries and Japan.
Major offenses include:
France:Felony and misdemeanor(crime et delit)excluding traffic offenses etc.;
Germany:Felony and misdemeanor(Straftat)excluding traffic offenses etc.;
U.K.:Notifiable offense(offense that the police is obligated to report to Home Office);
U.S.A.:Crime Index offense excluding arson(estimate);
Japan:Non-traffic penal code offenses.
Crime trends should not be immediately determined only from the number of reported cases,etc.for specific crimes.Moreover,the scope of what is considered a crime and constituent elements of a crime(factors and conditions for an offense)differ between the respective countries,and methods of gathering statistics also vary.For these reasons,it is difficult to make accurate comparisons or studies.However,it is considered beneficial for understanding crime trends in Japan from an international perspective to gain a general grasp of crime trends in various countries and to compare statistical figures in Japan with those in other countries.