Crime tendency in JapanThe number of Penal Code offenses reported to the Japanese police rose at the end of the 1990s and peaked in 2002. The case numbers then steadily declined for almost two decades. In 2020, the number of recognized criminal offenses reached approximately 614 thousand, less than a quarter of that two decades earlier. In 2019, after 17 consecutive years of decrease, the crime rate was 593.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The most frequently occurring crime in the nation has continued to be theft, making up more than 70 percent of the recorded cases. The overall clearance rate of Penal Code offenses in 2019 was 39 percent, while the larceny case clearance rate reached 34 percent.
Despite the overall improvement of both crime rate and clearance rate in the past decade in general, violations of Special Acts involving, for example, cybercrime, child abuse, special fraud such as phone fraud, have increased in recent years. The NPA also raised concerns about the high recidivism rate and the share of repeat offenders, promoting programs for repeated crime prevention.