Japan Data

Japanese Government Paper Shows 7.5% Crime Decrease in 2021


As of 2021, the number of crimes in Japan has decreased for 19 consecutive years. During the pandemic, the number of thefts fell significantly, and the increased use of security cameras has also driven down crime. On the other hand, child abuse and cybercrimes are on the rise.

The 2022 white paper on crime published by Japan’s Ministry of Justice notes that the number of recognized criminal offenses during 2021 decreased by 7.5% to 568,104, as compared to 614,231 during the previous year, marking the lowest number since 1945. Thefts accounted for more than two-thirds of the total number of crimes.

Homicides decreased by 55 cases year on year to 874, robberies fell by 259 to 1,138, and arson decreased by 37 to 749.

There were 175,041 arrests in 2021, of which 90,009 involved first-time offenders and 85,032 repeat offenders.

Crime Statistics

The recidivism rate decreased by 0.5 percentage points year on year to 48.6%. This slight downturn goes against the upward trend in recent years.

Proportion of Arrests Involving Repeat Offenders

Specialized fraud cases such as ore ore sagi ( it’s me, it’s me scams) decreased by 11.1% year on year to 6,600. Meanwhile, cybercrimes increased by 23.6% to 12,209 cases. Violations of the Marijuana Control Law increased by 15.4% to 7,169 cases and cases of child abuse increased by 1.9% to 2,174 cases; both have been rising in recent years.

In 2021, the number of arrests for criminal offenses committed by juveniles (aged 14 to 19) decreased by 9.5% to 20,399. This figure has continued to decline since 2004. The number of juvenile arrests per 100,000 population also showed a downward trend, with 186.5 arrests in 2021, a 9.3% year-on-year decrease. The figure for 2021 is about one-eighth of the peak reached in 1981.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: On January 15, 2022, investigators examine the area near the scene of a stabbing incident at the University of Tokyo in Bunkyō, Tokyo. © Jiji.)

crime statistics