Japan Data

Annual Crime Figures in Japan Rise for First Time in 20 Years


The number of recognized criminal offenses in Japan rose for the first time in 20 years in 2022, a year when many restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic were eased.

The 2023 white paper on crime published by Japan’s Ministry of Justice shows that the number of recognized criminal offenses during 2022 increased by 5.8% to 601,331, as compared to 568,104 during the previous year. This was the first time for the number of crimes to increase year on year since 2002. Theft accounted for nearly 70% of all offences, with 407,911 theft cases in total.

In 2022, there were 853 homicides (decrease of 21 year on year), 1,148 robberies (increase of 10), and 781 arson cases (increase of 32).

The total number of arrests was 169,409, of which 88,226 involved first-time offenders and 81,183 repeat offenders.

Crime Statistics

The recidivism rate was 47.9% in 2022, a year-on-year decrease of 0.7 percentage points. The rate had been consistently increasing in recent years, but has declined for two consecutive years since 2021.

Proportion of Arrests Involving Repeat Offenders

The number of arrests for criminal offenses committed by juveniles (aged 14 to 20) had been decreasing since 2004, but it rose year on year by 2.5% in 2022, to 20,912, marking the first increase in 19 years.

For the first time in the white paper, the Ministry of Justice included a section analyzing the childhood of juvenile delinquents The featured content included a survey of 591 boys and girls aged 13 to 19 who had been admitted to a juvenile training school in 2021, with 12 categories of questions about “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs), such as child abuse, family mental illness, and dependency issues, or domestic violence.

The results showed that 61.0% of the respondents had been punched, kicked, or subjected to some other type of physical violence by family members, and 43.8% responded that they were subjected to psychological violence by family members in the form of verbal abuse. Compared to the results of a similar survey of juveniles on probation, the ACEs of those at juvenile training centers was considerably higher.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Kanagawa Prefectural Police investigators examine an area in Naka Ward, Yokohama where a man was stabbed on November 2, 2023. © Jiji.)

crime statistics