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Do things get stolen in Japan?


Japan is widely known as a safe country, with low crime rates and high levels of social order. However, like any other country, Japan is not immune to theft. In this article, we will explore the extent of theft in Japan and the measures taken by the Japanese government and society to combat it.

Theft Statistics in Japan

According to the National Police Agency, there were over 300,000 reported cases of theft in Japan in 2019. The majority of these cases involved theft from parked cars or bicycles. However, there were also a significant number of cases involving shoplifting, pickpocketing, and home burglaries.

Japanese Snack Box

Common Targets of Theft

In Japan, some items are more commonly targeted by thieves than others. For example, bicycles are a popular target due to their prevalence in Japanese society. Other items that are often stolen include smartphones, wallets, and purses.

Preventing Theft in Japan

The Japanese government and society have taken a number of measures to prevent theft. One such measure is the installation of surveillance cameras in public areas. Many train stations and shopping centers have cameras that monitor for potential criminal activity. Additionally, many bicycles come with built-in locks to prevent theft.

The Role of Society in Preventing Theft

In Japan, there is a strong emphasis on social responsibility. This means that citizens are encouraged to look out for one another and report any suspicious activity to the authorities. This culture of vigilance helps to deter crime and catch criminals before they can do harm.

Police Response to Theft

In Japan, the police take theft very seriously. They have a dedicated unit that investigates theft crimes and works closely with other law enforcement agencies to prevent crime. If you are a victim of theft in Japan, it is important to report the crime to the police as soon as possible.

Penalties for Theft in Japan

The penalties for theft in Japan vary depending on the severity of the crime. For minor offenses, such as shoplifting or bicycle theft, the offender may be fined or given a short prison sentence. For more serious offenses, such as home burglary, the offender may face a longer prison sentence.

Theft and Tourists in Japan

Tourists visiting Japan are not immune to theft. In fact, they may be seen as easy targets by thieves due to their unfamiliarity with the area and customs. To avoid becoming a victim of theft while traveling in Japan, it is important to keep your valuables close at hand and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Cybercrime in Japan

In addition to traditional forms of theft, cybercrime is also a growing concern in Japan. With more people using smartphones and computers for online shopping and banking, cybercriminals have found new ways to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting victims.

Protecting Yourself from Cybercrime

To protect yourself from cybercrime in Japan, it is important to use strong passwords and avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities. You should also be wary of phishing scams and other tactics used by cybercriminals to gain access to your personal information.

The Future of Theft Prevention in Japan

As technology continues to advance, so too will the methods used by criminals to commit theft. However, Japanese society has shown a strong commitment to preventing crime and protecting its citizens. By continuing to invest in surveillance technology and promoting social responsibility, Japan will likely remain one of the safest countries in the world.


While Japan may be known for its low crime rates, theft is still a concern for many people living or visiting there. By taking steps to prevent theft and promoting social responsibility, Japanese society has made great strides in combating this issue. As technology continues to evolve, so too will our methods for preventing crime – but one thing is certain: safety will always remain a top priority for the people of Japan.

Is theft common in Japan?

In 2020, the crime rate decreased for the 17th year in a row but still stood at 486.6 cases per 100,000 people. Theft was the most common type of crime, making up the bulk of reported cases. This information was reported on February 23, 2023.

What is the theft rate in Japan?

In Japan, theft makes up almost half of all criminal arrests, with assault and bodily harm being the next most common offenses. According to the National Police Agency, fraud and embezzlement also contribute to a significant portion of criminal activity in the country. This data was reported on February 21, 2023.

What type of crime is most common in Japan?

Theft is the most common type of crime in Japan, while assaults and bodily injuries are the most frequently reported violent crimes, followed by rapes and homicides. In 2020, there were approximately 21.9 assaults and 0.7 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in Japan.

What to do if you lose something in Japan?

To report lost property, complete a Lost Property Report at the nearest police office (such as a police station or Koban). This report can be submitted at any police office, but lost items outside of Japan cannot be reported.

Does Japan have less crime than America?

Japan has a remarkably low incidence of criminal activity. Compared to America’s rate of 4.7 intentional homicides per 100,000 people, Japan’s rate was only 0.3 per 100,000 people in 2011.

Why is crime so low in Japan?

The idea that cultural factors are the sole reason for low rates of crime is too simple. This perspective suggests that the Japanese have lower rates of murder, assault, and theft because of their tendency towards group cooperation, desire for harmony, and strong self-discipline.

One of the unique aspects of theft in Japan is the phenomenon of “lost item culture.” This is a concept where if you find a lost item, you are expected to turn it in to the authorities or the nearest lost and found. This culture has contributed to Japan’s reputation for being a safe and honest society. Many people who lose their belongings in Japan are often surprised to find that they are returned to them intact.

Another measure taken by the Japanese government to combat theft is the use of DNA analysis. The police have been collecting DNA samples from crime scenes and have been able to match them with suspects in other cases. This method has helped to catch repeat offenders and prevent future crimes.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in organized theft rings targeting high-end luxury goods, such as designer handbags and watches. These groups often operate across multiple cities and countries, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to track them down. To combat this, Japanese police have worked closely with international law enforcement agencies to share information and coordinate efforts.

Overall, while theft remains a concern, Japan’s strong commitment to preventing crime and promoting social responsibility has made it one of the safest countries in the world. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that new measures will be taken to combat theft, but the Japanese people’s dedication to safety will continue to play a vital role in keeping their country secure.

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