Home > Hot topics
Fragmented Yamaguchi-gumi a Sign of Changing Yakuza Times

Japan’s biggest criminal organization, the Yamaguchi-gumi, has broken up into three groups. While this would once have heralded a likely gang war, tightened legislation has made it difficult for the yakuza to act, preserving a curious balance of power. In this unusual situation, fundamental rules of the yakuza world are crumbling.

Abused Children in Japan Top 30,000 in First Half of 2017 (News)

Tokyo, Sept. 21 (Jiji Press)—The number of children suspected to have been abused in Japan in January–June 2017 topped 30,000, the first time ever for the figure to reach this level since half-year data started to be compiled in 2011, the National Police Agency said Thursday. Police referred a total of 30,262 suspected abuse victims aged 17 or younger to child consultation centers in the first …

Human Blood from Mosquitos Could Identify Criminals: Research (News)

Nagoya, Aug. 17 (Jiji Press)—Mosquito bites at indoor crime scenes in summer could provide evidence for convictions, a team of researchers at Nagoya University suggests. Human blood sampled from a mosquito remains viable for DNA analysis for up to two days after the bite took place, according to their research. "We hope the technique will help prevent crimes," said Yamamoto Toshimichi, leade…

Japan Police Launch National Hotline for Sex Crime Victims (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 3 (Jiji Press)—Police across Japan started on Thursday fielding phone calls made to an emergency speed-dial number by sex crime victims seeking advice. The helpline, which can be reached from anywhere in Japan at #8103, was opened to encourage more victims of sexual offenses to call police, the National Police Agency said. Before the dedicated line was set up, victims had to cont…

Crimes on Track to Hit Postwar Low in 2017 (News)

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)—The number of criminal offenses reported to police in Japan in January–June 2017 fell 7.7% from a year earlier to 450,887, on track to hit an annual low for the postwar era, a National Police Agency report showed Thursday. The annual crime figure has kept declining since peaking at 2,853,739 in 2002. The number of crimes continued to drop after the police acknowle…

Fraud on the Line: Japan’s Persistent Telephone ScamsNishida Kimiaki

“Telephone scams,” in which criminals defraud their marks over the phone, show no sign of abating in Japan. Authorities have fought back against these incidents through public awareness campaigns, but have been matched by crafty perpetrators who quickly adopt new techniques to dupe their victims. Nishida Kimiaki analyzes the psychological factors at play on the victims’ side and looks at what is behind the persistent problem.

Japan’s Revised Penal Code Goes into Force (News)

Tokyo, July 13 (Jiji Press)—Japan's revised Penal Code stipulating tighter penalties against sex offenses went into force Thursday. Through the first major overhaul of sex crime-linked provisions since the code was established in 1907, the amended law now includes the crime of "forcible sex and similar acts," under which not only women but also men can be recognized as victims, instead of the c…

Anticonspiracy Law Comes into Force in Japan (News)

Tokyo, July 11 (Jiji Press)--The anticonspiracy law took effect in Japan on Tuesday, allowing authorities to criminalize planning and preparations to commit serious crimes, including terrorist attacks. The government now plans to promptly ratify the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime so that the country can share investigative information about organized crimes with other natio…

Japan Considering Accommodating Released Prisoners in Public Housing (News)

The Japanese government is considering using public housing to accept released prisoners as a measure to support their resettlement and prevent them reoffending, informed sources said on June 22. The scheme is expected to be included in a comprehensive action plan to prevent recidivism that will be drawn up by the end of 2017, the sources said. The scheme calls on local governments operating…

New Arrest Warrant Served on Ultraleftist for 1971 Murder (News)

Osaka, June 7 (Jiji Press)—Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday served an ultraleftist, arrested last month after 46 years on the run, with a fresh arrest warrant for the 1971 murder of a policeman. Ōsaka Masaaki (center) arrives at Haneda Airport, Tokyo, on June 7, 2017. (© Jiji) Ōsaka Masaaki, an activist of a far-left radical group known as Chūkaku-ha, is suspected of kill…

Video highlights

New series

  • From our columnists
  • In the news