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This chapter gives an overview of crime trends in the number of reported cases, crime rate, and clearance rate for major offenses including homicide and theft comparing Japan with four countries - France, Germany, the United Kingdom (U.K.; limited to England and Wales; hereinafter the same in this Chapter), and the United States of America (U.S.A.) - based on official statistics obtained.
"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 offenses (offenses that the police is obligated to report to Home Office);
U.S.A.: Violent crime and property crime (estimate);
Japan: Non-traffic penal code offenses.
The scope of what is considered a crime and the constituent elements of a crime (factors and conditions of which an act is judged as applicable to a specific offense) differs and methods of gathering statistics are not the same among these countries. Furthermore, it is not appropriate to judge the crime trends based only on the trends in the number of reported cases of specific offenses. However, it is still considered beneficial to grasp the outline of the crime trends in each country by comparing the statistical figures in Japan with those in other four countries, in the analysis of the crime trends in Japan from the international perspective.