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In this chapter “major offenses” include:
Japan: Non-traffic penal code offenses;
France: Felonies and misdemeanors (crime et délit) excluding traffic offenses, etc.;
Germany: Felonies and misdemeanors (Straftat) excluding traffic offenses, etc.;
U.K.: Notifiable offenses (offenses that the police are obliged to report to the Home Office);
U.S.A.: Violent crime and property crime (estimates).
The scope of what is considered a crime and the constituent elements of a crime (factors and conditions of an act being judged to be applicable to a specific offense) differs and the methods used to gather the statistics are not the same across all the countries. In addition, it is inappropriate to make judgments on trends in crime using only trends in the number of reported cases for specific offenses. The use of such statistical data in assessing overall trends in crime and comparing Japan's situation with those of the abovementioned four countries does, however, furnish useful reference material for further analysis of crime trends in Japan.