chapter  7
16 Pages

Japan: A Country with Safe Streets

WithGideon Fishman, Simon Dinitz

The United States commitment to due process is paralleled by Japan’s equally hoary commitment to a consensual Social Control model of criminal justice. Although the “crime-in-the-streets” issue may yet redress the balance in the preference for the Social Control over the Due Process model, the collective memory embedded in United States history is the greater fear of the potential excess of enforcement than the real threat of crime. The overall Japanese crime rate was disaggregated into the major components of property, violent, heinous, sex, negligence, and miscellaneous offenses. Insofar as any criminal justice data, from any country, can be used with confidence, these Japanese figures are undoubtedly more reliable than crime trend data from elsewhere. The general decline occurred precisely when other developed countries were experiencing unprecedented increases in nearly every category of crime and especially in the safety offenses.