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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 5/Chap.7/Sec.1/3 

3 Increase in robbery cases committed by organized crime group members and those committed by visiting foreign nationals

  Robbery cases committed by quasi-members of organized crime groups and those committed by foreign nationals have been increasing. The increase in the former may be due to the fact that quasi-members of organized crime groups, who are hidden under cover in order to escape from the Anti-Organized Crime Group Law, commit robbery instead of extortion as a means to obtain money or articles. In other words, like juveniles, quasi-members easily choose to commit robbery as a quick means to obtain money or articles. This trend is serious because, unlike juveniles, quasi-members of organized crime groups are well organized and likely to possess handguns and other dangerous weapons.
  Visiting foreign nationals commit robbery more frequently by forming groups. Most cases committed by visiting foreign nationals are invasive robbery in the nighttime, and they frequently target stores or a large amount of money and involve a number of victims. Not a few cases are committed jointly with Japanese nationals whereas cases involving Japanese victims are also increasing. Attention should be paid to this trend.
  There may be 3 background factors for the increase in robbery cases committed by visiting foreign nationals. The first factor is that as more visiting foreign nationals reside and work in Japan as legal residents amid the progress in internationalization, the number of those who commit robbery due to difficulty in finding jobs and financial troubles in the current recession has been increasing. The second factor is that, as a negative aspect of internationalization, there are still a large number of foreign nationals who come to Japan by illegal means such as illegal arrivals without valid passports and visiting foreign nationals who have lost legal status but illegally overstay and work in Japan, and these foreign nationals commit robbery, as in the case of the first factor. The third factor is that professional robbery gangs come to Japan with the intention of committing robbery and commit it repeatedly. Due caution should be required for the future trends in the second and third factors, and in particular professional robbery gangs, which have committed large scale serial robbery cases in cooperation with Japanese organized crime groups and caused new threats to Japanese society.