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NCJ Number: 221608 Find in a Library
Title: Homicide Drop in Postwar Japan
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:146-160
Author(s): David T. Johnson
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The study describes postwar Japan’s homicide decline, the demographic group most responsible for the decline, and the significance of Japan’s transformation into a society where homicide is unusually rare.
Abstract: Findings revealed that Japan’s homicide rate dropped 70 percent in the last 50 years, and the nation now has one of the lowest homicide rates in the world. More is known about who is responsible for the decline than about what has caused it. Japan has fewer homicides per capita than every other nation except Israel. Japan’s postwar commitment to antiwar values may have helped prevent homicide. Japanese males commit one fifth as many homicides as their counterparts did in 1955 whereas homicide rates for Japanese females are approximately two fifths the 1955 rate. When Japan’s postwar decline started in 1955, there were about 23 murderers for every 100,000 men aged 20 to 24. Since 1990, the corresponding number has remained around two. Young Japanese males, especially those born since 1960, commit fewer murders than previous cohorts of young males. Homicide rate is higher among men in their 50s than among males aged 20 to 24. Males under 20 accounted for less than 6 percent of all homicide arrests in 2001, only slightly more than the 5 percent of male homicide arrestees who were 70 years or older. Japan presently has one of the highest self-inflicted death rates in the developed world. Suicide is so common in Japan that the country’s combined rate of lethal violence exceeds that for every other industrialized nation and is about twice the average for all industrialized countries. Males commit almost three quarters of suicides in Japan, and since 1998 the nation’s suicide rate has risen substantially among several subpopulations, including young men. Suicide is now the second leading cause of death among Japanese aged 15 to 24, and among young adults aged 25 to 39 it is the leading cause of death. About 40 times more Japanese kill themselves than kill other people. Tables, figures, notes, references
Main Term(s): Homicide causes; Homicide trends; International crime statistics; Japan; Suicide
Index Term(s): Demographic analysis of crime; Foreign crime prevention; Foreign crime statistics; Victims in foreign countries
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