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1 Background of efforts for measures against illegal entry and illegal overstay, etc.
In recent years, globalization in various fields has expanded among countries, and so-called "response to threats coming beyond national borders" has become a significant problem even in the field of criminal justice in accordance with a rapid development in communications and transportation measures.
Also in Japan, illegal entry and illegal overstay of foreign nationals and crimes committed by visiting foreign nationals have come to be recognized as significant social problems, heightening the general public's anxiety over public safety. The number of cases of visiting foreign nationals cleared for non-traffic penal code offenses has been on a rise and such cases are expanding to local areas. Furthermore, with regard to such offenses as burglary theft and robbery, which arouse significant anxiety among the general public, the number of cleared cases for visiting foreign nationals has been increasing (see Part 3, Chapter 1, Section 2). Behind such crimes by visiting foreign nationals, the existence of crime organizations of visiting foreign nationals is suspected, or in some cases, they commit offenses jointly with Japanese Boryokudan groups.
In order to deal with such circumstances, and not only from the viewpoint of restoring safe and peaceful society but also from the viewpoint of eliminating unnecessary suspicion against many ordinary foreigners residing in Japan legally and peacefully, the government has undertaken measures against crimes by visiting foreign nationals and, in particular, has strengthened measures for illegal immigrants who are apt to be a breeding ground of crime. The "Action Program to Create a Crime-Resistant Society" positions "promotion of measures against illegal entry and illegal overstay" as one of the important measures and sets the goal to halve the number of illegal immigrants (estimated as nearly 250,000 persons at that time) in five years from 2004 to 2008.