How Safe Is Japan?

Every year, the crime rates of different countries are evaluated and compared. The result of this comparison makes a list of the Safest Countries in the World.

For a number of years now, Japan has been ranking amongst the top 10 safest countries in the world. That’s an official number, but how safe is this country in reality? Let’s find out.

The Police System of Japan

Safety in a country would simply not exist without efficient and sufficient forces. Japan has one of the most skilled and highly trained police facilities in the world. Their officers are brave and very strict about the law. They are well known for their diligence and honesty.

If a crime is seen in the designated area of any officer, he is obliged to find the culprit. Not only that, but he is also expected to present him to the law. When the citizens sleep at night, their police work diligently to keep them safe and catch anyone that plans to disrupt the peace in the area.

Such efficiency and sincerity to their job are what make people in Japan feel safer.

Steps of the Japanese Government to Prevent Crime

A country’s laws and policies play quite a significant role in keeping it safe. These laws not only hold criminals accountable for their actions but also stop a great number of crimes before they can take place. The security system of Japan believes in prevention rather than action. This is the kind of mindset a country needs in order to lower its crime rate. If not, they will just be punishing criminals, not stopping them.

Therefore, the government of Japan has set up a set of strict policies to stop crime at all levels. From drugs to thefts, they have policies for every big and small crime that would discourage anyone from committing any heinous act. Following are some of the steps that help them make Japan one of the safest countries in the world:

No Gun Policy

Japan has a serious no gun policy. According to different surveys, only 1 out of 150 households own a firearm there. That, too, after proper reasoning and a long license procedure. If anyone is caught with an unlicensed weapon, they face severe consequences for it.

Drug-free Country

Drugs of any kind are totally banned in the country. There is no concept of cocaine or heroin in Japan. From visitors to locals, no one is allowed to use any substance within the country.

Easy to Reach Kōban

Apart from the proper police stations, every city in the country has small Kōbans. These are located within the residential areas to provide easy access for people to reach the police. This way, the criminals do not get any chance to pull off a scene.

No Drunk Driving Policy

It is proved by research that people commit crimes mostly when they are drunk as opposed to other countries where a legal range exists. In Japan, there is no concept of doing anything when you are drunk. If anyone is caught driving drunk, they get in real trouble.

No Abandoned ATMs

Unlike in other countries, there are no wall ATMs in Japan. The machines are installed inside the buildings. This scares off the robbers. They fear walking into a building with people roaming around all the time.

Security in Parking Lots

Parking lots are the most common locations for crimes. From kidnapping to murders, everything has been seen in different countries in these areas. To avoid such problems, there is a special security system in all the parking lots of Japan.

Shops in the Residential Area

Criminals tend to commit crimes in quiet places. Drive-thru restaurants and late-night shops are special attractions for them. But in the country of Japan, commercial places are located within neighborhoods. As a result, robbers and other criminals are scared off due to the constant movement in the area.

Interrogation Policy

Interrogation policies of a country are very important in determining the safety of its people. And when it comes to Japan, their interrogation system is a lot stricter than one would expect, especially when you compare it to what one sees in other countries.

Normally, the criminals are taken into interrogation for two days. After that, they are charged with their crimes. But in Japan, criminals can be kept in interrogation for up to 21 days. And during this phase, the interrogatory methods are so strict, that someone who hasn’t even committed a crime would admit to it.

Though cruel and torturous, the fear of going through this phase is enough to keep a lot of people from committing crimes.

Are Safety Levels Same for Foreigners?

People living in a country are usually used to what goes on around them. The real security concerns arise for foreigners who are visiting the country. For them, the question is whether the level of safety that they need is equal to the available one.

According to some people, the policies are different for foreigners in Japan. There are a lot of visitors who say that they felt uncomfortable during their trips, for several reasons.

As far as the news goes, there are strict rules for any bad behavior. No one can simply misbehave and get away with it. But regardless of all these laws, travelers often complain that they had to face several problems. So, maybe, this country is not as safe as we think.

Most of the victims that complain of different behavior towards visitors are women. Many of them share their stories of harassment, groping, and catcalling. A lot of them report that this is a common culture there, something that has been dramatically normalized by the residents who therefore do not see it as a problem at all. And, this is what foreign women have to go through in one of the safest countries in the world.

They have reported that when they ask the police to help, they always seem to favor the locals. The officials would always choose their people over others. But how much truth do these stories hold? Hard to say.

Controversies on Police

As mentioned earlier, Japan is known to have some of the most efficient police forces around the world. But their police have often been targeted for several controversies. The crime rate in Japan is impressively low. While most people appreciate the safe environment of the country, some people question the authenticity of this crime rate.

It is said by few that police officers in Japan do not record many cases. They do work on cases and catch the culprits, but they still do not record it, which is to say that the crime rate in Japan is actually higher than the official records.

But that’s only what a few people say. Reality? It’s a fact that Japan has more police officers than criminals. The high police to criminal ratio create an image of a safe country in one’s mind. With the high number of police officials keeping the country safe, one can’t help but live peacefully with a sense of security.

Women Safety

On the one hand, Japan has efficient laws, police forces, and policies that keep their people safe. On the other hand, there is still a concern for women’s safety. When it comes to the nightlife in the country of Japan, it is the same as almost any other developed country.

One can’t say that it is bad to a point where women can’t go out on their own. But when they do, catcalling and hooting by men on the roads is common. It is a shameful deed, but the presence of police and the strict laws make sure that it never goes beyond the point where it would harm someone physically.

With a little more effort, women’s safety in Japan could be perfected and brought to a level where no woman, even foreigners, feel insecure stepping out alone at night.


Being ranked the tenth safest country in the world, Japan has proven itself to deserve that position. It is a country where any and every crime is followed by strict actions.

Not only do they punish the wrongdoers, but they also prevent future events. They have strict laws that highly discourage people from committing crimes. So yes, if Japan is listed in the top ten safest countries in the world, it is rightly done and can be justified in several ways.