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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 5/Chap.7/Sec.2/2 

2 Countermeasures and challenges regarding clearance and investigation

  As for heinous offenses such as homicide and robbery, it is absolutely necessary to clear offenders promptly and correctly and find out the truth of the case, not only for the benefit of victims but also with the aim of preventing recurrence of the same kinds of offenses and protecting public safety. To this end, it is most important to carry out appropriate and thorough investigation by using all possible investigating means including scientific means. In this respect, this subsection will discuss countermeasures against offenses by juvenile offenders, those against offenses by persons related to organized crime groups and foreign nationals, and those against larceny cases.

(1) Countermeasures against offenses by juveniles

  Juveniles are mentally immature and their moral awareness is weak. Although they sometimes dare to commit serious offenses easily, it is possible, because of their flexibility, to prevent them from repeating offenses by taking prompt and proper measures. To this end, it is necessary not only to identify juvenile offenders promptly and correctly but also to collect sufficient information on motives, background factors, modus operandi, and accomplices as well as feelings of victims, provide such information to family courts, correctional institutions, and rehabilitation authorities, and support proper disposition and treatment of juvenile offenders. By carrying out investigation in such manner, it would be possible to make juvenile offenders recognize the seriousness of the offenses that they have committed and become aware of themselves as members of the society, just like victims of their offenses, thereby increasing motivation for rehabilitation among them. It would also be possible to prevent other juveniles from imitating juvenile offenders and committing the same kinds of offenses.

(2) Countermeasures against offenses by persons related to organized crime groups and foreign nationals

  As countermeasures against offenders related to organized crime groups, it is necessary not only to identify and arrest such offenders thoroughly but also to consider destroying organized crime groups to which they belong. To this end, it will be important to regulate firearms and take new measures provided under the Anti-Organized Crime Group Law and related laws, such as seizing crime proceeds, thereby weakening such groups. It will also be important to encourage persons those cleared to break away from the groups to which they belong while protecting them from such groups.
  Among visiting foreign nationals who commit offenses, some have been legally employed but lost their jobs due to recession and finally dared to commit offenses to overcome financial difficulties whereas others have come to Japan illegally or with the intention of committing offenses. It is needless to say that strict measures should be taken against heinous offenses committed by either type of foreign nationals. However, focusing on the latter type of foreign nationals, and in particular those who belong to organizations such as robbery gangs in cooperation with organized crime groups, it is vital to thoroughly clarify the truth of the case including the background relationship. To this end, it is desired to promote collection and sharing of various relevant data for effective analysis and use. With respect to illegal arrivals, it is important strengthen measures to prevent them from coming into Japan at borders.

(3) Importance of countermeasures against larceny cases

  Reinforcement of clearance efforts focusing on violent larceny cases, which may result in robbery cases, is closely related to the prevention and reduction of robbery cases. Among others, larceny cases targeting people riding on bicycles are likely to cause severe damage to victims, and more violent cases , such as those committed by taking automated teller machines (ATM) with the use of construction equipment or taking large coffers from offices, might turn into robbery cases when the perpetrators are detected or resisted by victims and exercise violence to complete the offense. There are other types of larceny that might turn into robbery cases, such as theft from houses committed by habitual larceny offenders using destructive tools for invasion or weapons, and offenses committed by larceny gangs consisting of a large number of perpetrators with the potential intention of threatening victims. Concentrated and thorough clearance efforts targeting these types of larceny will be one of effective measures to suppress the occurrence of robbery and prevent damage from spreading.