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 White paper on crime 2006 Part 6/Chapter 1/1 

Part 6  New Trends of Criminal Policy

Chapter 1  Introduction

1 Crime trend and growing public anxiety

  The White Paper on Crime 1989, which dealt with "criminal policy undertaken in the Showa era" as its main topic, pointed out that Japan's criminal policy had not a few problems to be solved with regard to public safety of the time, but at the same time it highly evaluated that "Japan has successfully realized a peaceful society, referred to as one of the world's safest countries, through the implementation of comprehensive crime policy measures as well as improvement in the social environment after WWII"
  Looking at the crime trend after that, the number of reported cases for non-traffic penal code offenses, which includes most of the offenses that harm the general public's life, body, and property, etc., has made a new record every year since 1996 (marking nearly 1.81 million cases), hitting the post-WWII high at 2.85 million cases in 2002. Furthermore, an upward trend can also be observed in the number of reported cases not only for theft, which has accounted for the largest proportion of the total number of reported cases for non-traffic penal code offenses, but also other heinous non-traffic penal code offenses such as robbery, forcible indecency, and rape, as well as injury and breaking into a residence, whose numbers had been relatively large since before. At the same time, the clearance rate of non-traffic penal code offenses has declined gradually, recording the post-WWII worst at 19.8% in 2001.
  As criminal conditions deteriorated in this way, deteriorating public safety has come to be pointed out frequently and further deterioration came to be seriously worried about, with public anxiety over public safety growing larger.