[WHITE PAPER ON CRIME]
1. Original White Paper on Crime
This White Paper is a summary and translated version of the “White Paper on Crime” 2020 (the original version is written/described in Japanese), one of annual publication of the Ministry of Justice in Japan. The translations in this Paper are tentative and are to be considered solely as a reference. For more statistics and further details, refer to the original Japanese version.
2. Data sources
Statistics, Tables, Figures and other information presented in the White Paper on Crime are specially provided by the respective bureaus/departments of the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration Services Agency, and are also obtained from various research or surveys conducted by relevant agencies, as well as the following official statistics (information obtained for the previous White Papers on Crime is included):
- Criminal Statistics of the National Police Agency
(Criminal Investigation Bureau, National Police Agency);
- Annual Report of Statistics on Prosecution
(Judicial System Department, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Justice);
- Annual Report of Judicial Statistics
(General Secretariat, the Supreme Court);
- Annual Report of Statistics on Correction
(Judicial System Department, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Justice); and
- Annual Report of Statistics on Rehabilitation
(Judicial System Department, Minister’s Secretariat, Ministry of Justice).
The statistical data sources up to May 14, 1972 do not include data for Okinawa Prefecture.
3. Coverage of statistical materials
The data in this Paper are based on statistical materials that were available by the end of July 2020. Unless otherwise indicated, the most recent annual figures are of the year 2019. Any corrections made to the data offered or publicized by relevant agencies will be reflected in subsequent editions of this Paper if deemed necessary.
[OFFENSES AND TERMS]
I. Definitions of offenses
The offense names in this White Paper are used in accordance with the following meanings or the definitions in the sources, unless specified otherwise.
1. Penal Code offenses
“Penal Code offenses” refer to those offenses prescribed by the Penal Code (Act No. 45 of 1907) and violations of the following laws, except offenses against the Penal Code that fall under 2 and 3 below:
- (i) Explosives Control Act (Cabinet Order No. 32 of 1884);
- (ii) Act Relating to Duels (Act No. 34 of 1889);
- (iii) Act on Punishment of Crimes Related to Stamps (Act No. 39 of 1909);
- (iv) Act on Punishment of Physical Violence and Others (Act No. 60 of 1926);
- (v) Act on Prevention and Punishment of Robbery and Theft (Act No. 9 of 1930);
- (vi) Act on Punishment of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (Act No. 68 of 1970);
- (vii) Act on Punishment of Crime to Cause Pollution Harmful for Human Health (Act No. 142 of 1970);
- (viii) Act on Punishment of Acts to Endanger Aviation (Act No. 87 of 1974);
- (ix) Act on Punishment of Compulsion and Other Related Acts Committed by Those Having Taken Hostages (Act No. 48 of 1978); and
- (x) Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds (Act No. 136 of 1999).
- As a side note, each category of offenses includes the following variations as provided in the Penal Code:
- (i) attempt;
- (ii) preparation;
- (iii) inducement and accessoryship;
- (iv) offenses such as robbery causing death or injury which aggravate the gravity of the punishment of the base offense of robbery;
- (v) offenses such as when the gravity of the punishment is aggravated or mitigated based on the types of social activities, purposes, status of an offender or other elements as prescribed in the Penal Code; and
- (vi) offenses that aggravate the punishment as prescribed in the Act on Prevention and Punishment of Robbery and Theft.
2. Dangerous driving causing death or injury
“Dangerous driving causing death or injury” refers to offenses provided in Article 2, Article 3, and Article 6, paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Act on Punishment of Acts Inflicting Death or Injury on Others by Driving a Motor Vehicle (Act No. 86 of 2013) and offenses provided in Article 208-2 of the Penal Code prior to its amendment by Act No. 86 of 2013.
3. Negligent driving offenses causing death or injury
“Negligent driving offenses causing death or injury” refer to  offenses provided in Article 4, Article 5, and Article 6, paragraphs (3) and (4) of the Act on Punishment of Acts Inflicting Death or Injury on Others by Driving a Motor Vehicle, offenses that cause death or injury through negligence in vehicle driving (offenses provided in Article 211, paragraph (2) of the Penal Code prior to its amendment by Act No. 86 of 2013) and  offenses causing death or injury through negligence in pursuit of social activities or gross negligence.
4. Special Acts offenses
“Special Acts offenses” refer to offenses other than those referred to in 1 to 3 above and includes violations of Prefectural/Municipal Ordinances and Regulations.
- (1) “Road traffic-related violations” refer to violations of the Road Traffic Act (Act No. 105 of 1960) and Act on Assurance of Car Parking Spaces and Other Matters (Act No. 145 of 1962).
- (2) “Violations of four traffic-related Acts” refer to road traffic-related violations, and violations of the Road Transport Vehicle Act (Act No. 185 of 1951) and Automobile Liability Security Act (Act No. 97 of 1955).
- (3) “Violations of traffic-related Acts” refer to violations of four traffic-related Acts and violations of the Road Transportation Act (Act No. 183 of 1951), Road Act (Act No. 180 of 1952), National Highway Act (Act No. 79 of 1957), Parking Lot Act (Act No. 106 of 1957), Act on Special Measures Concerning Prevention of Traffic Accident Caused by Large-Sized Automobiles Carrying Earth, Sand and Others (Act No. 131 of 1967), Act on Special Measures Concerning Regulation of Taxi Services (Act No. 75 of 1970), Consigned Freight Forwarding Business Act (Act No. 82 of 1989), Motor Truck Transportation Business Act (Act No. 83 of 1989), Studded Tires Regulation Act (Act No. 55 of 1990), and Act on Regulation of Substitute Driving Service (Act No. 57 of 2001).
II. Definitions of terms
- (1) “Number of reported cases” refers to the number of cases occurrence of which became known to the police.
- (2) “Crime rate” refers to the number of reported cases per 100,000 population.
- (3) The number of “cleared cases” or “cases cleared” refers to the number of cases cleared by the police or other investigative authorities. The number is not limited to cases referred to public prosecutors but includes cases disposed by the police as trivial offenses and other dispositions.
- (4) “Clearance rate” refers to the percentage of cleared cases among the number of reported cases. Since “cleared cases” include cases reported in the previous year, the “clearance rate” may exceed 100%.
- (5) The number of “cleared persons” or “persons cleared” refers to the number of persons cleared by the police or other investigative authorities.
2. Prosecution and courts
- (1) “Persons received by public prosecutors” refers to the number of suspects in cases directly detected or received by public prosecutors or referred from judicial police officers (including special judicial police officers of investigative agencies and internal inspectors of the National Tax Agency).
- (2) “Prosecution rate” refers to the percentage of persons prosecuted among the sum of the number of persons prosecuted and not prosecuted.
- (3) “Court of first instance” refers to ordinary trial procedures at district courts and summary courts and exclude summary proceedings.
- (4) “Conclusive disposition” refers to:
- (i) when the data is from the Annual Report of Prosecution, disposition of a case by a prosecutor, excluding transfer of a case between Public Prosecutors Offices or disposition to suspend an investigation; and
- (ii) where the data is from the Annual Report of Judicial Statistics or the General Secretariat of the Supreme Court, disposition of a case by a court, excluding transfer of a case to other courts (in Chapter 2 of Part 3, cases consolidated are not individually counted as disposed cases).
- (5) “Fully suspended execution rate” refers to the percentage of persons granted full suspension of the execution of their sentences for imprisonment among the number of persons sentenced to imprisonment (with or without work) for a definite term.
3. Correction and rehabilitation
- (1) “Newly sentenced inmates” refer to inmates newly admitted to penal institutions each year for reasons such as the execution of their finalized sentence.
- (2) “Reimprisoned inmate” refers to a person who has been imprisoned before.
- (3) “Parole rate” refers to the percentage of inmates released on parole among the total number of inmates released upon the completion of their term of imprisonment (with or without partial suspension of execution) and inmates released on parole.
- (4) “Probation rate” refers to the percentage of persons granted (full or partial) suspension of the execution of their sentence of imprisonment and placed under supervision for a period of suspension among the total number of persons granted (full or partial) suspension of the execution of their sentence of imprisonment (with or without supervision).
4. Juvenile cases
- (1) Juvenile
- (i) “Junior juvenile” refers to a person aged 14 or 15;
- (ii) “Intermediate juvenile” refers to a person aged 16 or 17; and
- (iii) “Senior juvenile” refers to a person aged 18 or 19.
- (2) Juvenile delinquent
- (i) “Juvenile offender” refers to a juvenile who has committed a crime (aged 14 or older at the time of the crime);
- (ii) “Juvenile offender under 14” refers to a juvenile under 14 years of age who has violated laws and regulations of a criminal nature; and
- (iii) “Pre-delinquent” refers to a juvenile who is, in light of his/her personality or environment, likely to commit crimes or violate laws and regulations of a criminal nature in the future due to his/her propensity not to submit to legitimate supervision by a custodian or other reasons.
- (3) “Juveniles newly committed to juvenile training schools” refer to juveniles newly committed to juvenile training schools by rulings to refer juveniles to juvenile training schools.
- (1) “Rate per population” refers to the rate of persons in a specific group per 100,000 persons of the population.
- (2) “Percentage of female” refers to the percentage of females among the total number of males and females.
- (3) “Elderly” or “elderly person” refers to persons aged 65 or older.
- (4) “Visiting foreign nationals” refer to foreign nationals staying in Japan except those staying under permanent residency, special permanent residency, or statuses related to the U.S. forces based in Japan, and those whose status is unclear.
If the data source is the Criminal Statistics of the National Police Agency, the term refers to foreign nationals staying in Japan except those staying under established residency (permanent residency, spouse or other dependency status of permanent residents and special permanent residency), or statuses related to the U.S. forces based in Japan, and those whose status is unclear.
- (5) “Previous conviction” refers to a previous conviction based on a finalized judgment.
- (6) “Treatment” refers to treatment of persons cleared for an offense in the subsequent stages of prosecution, court, correction and/or rehabilitation.
- (7) “Full suspension of execution of sentence” refers to the full suspension of execution of sentence provided in Article 25 of the Penal Code.
- (8) “Partial suspension of execution of sentence” refers to the partial suspension of execution of sentence provided in Article 27-2 of the Penal Code and Article 3 of the Act on Suspension of Execution of Part of the Sentence Rendered to a Person Who Has Committed a Drug-related Crime (Act No. 50 of 2013).
[PRESENTATION IN THE WHITE PAPER]
I. Numbering of figures and tables
The numbering of figures and tables is indicated in the order of Part, Chapter, and Section. For example, Fig. 2-4-1-3 refers to the third figure in Section 1 of Chapter 4 of Part 2. This English version of the White Paper on Crime 2020 does not necessarily correspond to the numbering of the figures and tables of the original Japanese White Paper on Crime 2020.
II. Presentation of values, etc.
1. Presentation of tables:
- (1) “-” refers to zero in number or not applicable
- (2) “0” refers to a number that does not reach one when rounded off
- (3) “0.0” refers to a proportion that does not reach 0.1 when rounded off
- (4) “…” refers to data/statistical materials that are not available, or the case where the parameter is zero
2. Presentations of figures:
- (1) “0” refers to zero in number or not applicable
- (2) “0.0” refers to a proportion that does not reach 0.1 when rounded off
The proportion and percentage, etc. are rounded off. Therefore, the sum of the proportions may not add up to 100.0.
The sum or difference of each proportion is calculated by first adding or subtracting values and then rounding off the resulting value. Thus, the value may not match the value calculated by first rounding off each value and then adding or subtracting the rounded off values.
For example, when calculating the difference between 12.76 and 7.53, first subtract 7.53 from 12.76 and then round off the value 5.23 to obtain the result of 5.2, rather than subtracting the rounded off value of 7.5 from the rounded off value of 12.8 (which yields 5.3).
This White Paper on Crime 2020 and its original Japanese version are available on the website of the Ministry of Justice of Japan.