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Personal safety in Japan
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 248
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:04 pm    Post subject: Personal safety in Japan Reply with quote

I worked in Japan some years ago, and never was concerned about my personal safety.

From the book: "Rising Sun"

"In Japan, you can walk into a park at midnight and sit on a bench and nothing will happen to you. You’re completely safe, day or night.. You can go anywhwere. You won’t be robbed or beaten or killed. You’re not always looking behind you, not always worrying. You don’t need walls or bodyguards. Your safety is the safety of the whole society. You’re free. It’s a wonderful feeling."

Is this still true today?
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Solar Strength



Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 560
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shinjuku or Rappongi aren't safe, especially with the beatings and robberies committed by the Nigerian gangsters. 15 years ago, you could walk through those areas unmolested, but not now.

And women are never safe anywhere - even on trains where men molest young girls or grab womens' asses. One still needs to be sharp and aware. The myth of Japan being crime free, etc. Continues, though, to be propagated by many foreigners.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 899

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Solar Strength wrote:
Shinjuku or Rappongi aren't safe, especially with the beatings and robberies committed by the Nigerian gangsters. 15 years ago, you could walk through those areas unmolested, but not now.

And women are never safe anywhere - even on trains where men molest young girls or grab womens' asses. One still needs to be sharp and aware. The myth of Japan being crime free, etc. Continues, though, to be propagated by many foreigners.


Roppongi is pretty gross. but outside of that, Japan is pretty safe. Especially violent crime wise. Petty stuff, and petty vandalism happen, esp near the urban areas. Outside of that, you really honestly don't need to lock your doors.
It is funny, Japan is really safe, but people act like criminals are just waiting for a chance. Hence the steel shutters. My wife hated it when I would open a window in the summer. She thought thieves would just jump in and rob us, while I was home


As for the Nigerians, they need to do some serious work in Roppongi, as it has become a complete dive. I wonder what the actual (not reported) crime rate is there? I think a lot of the Nigerians(the Roppingi bad ones, not all Nigerians) have married Japanese women(for the visas), so immigration is powerless.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 248
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somewhat disappointing to hear that.

I worked as a host in a nightclub in the Gion district of Kyoto. Of course along with the businessman customers, there was the usual assortment of Yakuza. If any foreigners were committing crimes, the Y. would have felt it an affront to their honor and their turf. It wouldn't last long. Also the police presence was ubiquitous, a little police kiosk on every corner. It's hard to believe that the police aren't cracking down on foreign criminals, especially ones that obviously standout so dramatically as Africans.

At that time there were few, if any third worlders in Kyoto, or probably any place outside of Tokyo. I guess it's all a product of globalization. Visas used to be very difficult to get for non westerners.

Thanks for the info.
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kah5217



Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 255
Location: Ibaraki

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I walked around Shibuya alone at night a few times, and rode my share of packed trains, and haven't been bothered or grabbed yet. Worst would probably be when the sales guys stop me and try to get me to buy CDs because they know I speak English, but that happens everywhere even during the day.

Then again, I don't wear low cut shirts or skirts, and I stay away from Roppongi and Kabukicho. I guess it also helps that I don't stand out as a tourist (you know the type, maps and cameras in hand).

Outside of Tokyo, it's really safe. My city is about 50k people, and while we have the biker gangs, they don't really do anything but be noisy. I heard a child was stabbed in the next town over, but that's extremely rare and he probably knew the attacker.
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PO1



Joined: 24 May 2010
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't find Tokyo to be terribly dangerous in general. At least I never get a feeling I'm in any danger when I walk around. That said, I don't go to Kabukicho often and I never go to Roppongi at night. The best way to avoid certain situations is don't go to places known to be dangerous. Not to say random violence won't find you anywhere you go, but Kabukicho and Roppongi are two places that just throw up red flags for me. So I don't go there if I can help it.

The key is, even if you feel safe in Japan, always keep an eye out and don't get too comfortable.
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teacheratlarge



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 155
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Generally speaking, Japan is safe, but women do need to be careful in certain situations; clubs and bars. Roppongi especially has gotten a bad reputation for drink spiking, and. so I would not recommend it for nights out. Shinjuku's Kabukicho has always been a little seedy, but not really dangerous unless you're drunk there late at night/ early in the morning.

Interesting to hear that about Kyoto, when were you working there?
The yaks in Tokyo scam people in Kabukicho, but you have to be dumb to go to the fake restaurant/bars they set up.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 248
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked there in the 1970s, when Japan was really booming and lots of money floating around. I often made a couple hundred dollars a night in tips. Tips carried by Japanese hostesses that accompanied the businessmen from club to club. These hostesses would reach into an inside pocket of their exquisite kimono and pull out a beautiful decorated paper envelope and hand it to me and any hosts or foreign hostesses working in our club, (Sun Okura). This was the first club in Japan that employed foreign men as hosts. It turned out to be very popular as the business men were more apt to discuss business with men rather than women. It also led to lucrative tutoring sessions with them during the day and weekends.

This was a first class club, actually four clubs on four floors of one building own by mama-san Okura. Both Japanese and foreign hostesses and hosts moved around from floor to floor if the customers wanted to take you. They also took you with them to other clubs as they made their night time rounds of up to a dozen clubs, so I got to see some fancy and some seedy clubs all around Kyoto.

It was very nice situation and gave an interesting insight into a part of Japanese culture.

So in the time since, a lot has changed everywhere, but Japan is somewhat unique due it's homogeneous population, and they would be smart to keep it that way, (IMHO).

BTW, just to keep it relevant, I did teach ESP to engineers in Osaka 3 days a week at their job site.
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 485
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That quote goes too far, but Japan is generally quite safe.
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2buckets



Joined: 14 Dec 2010
Posts: 248
Location: Middle East

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That quote was made in 1992.
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Vince



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 485
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2buckets wrote:
That quote was made in 1992.

Okay, I lost sight of the book's age. I was stationed on a military base in Japan in 1992 and always felt safe. By 2004, the end of my time in Japan as an EFL teacher, things seemed a bit rougher (not to say it was rough). I don't know the extent to which that was because of a change in society over time, or because I had much deeper exposure to Japanese society during my second stay.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 899

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2Buckets, wow! Would love to hear some stories. I think pre bubble Japan must have been something different. So much money flying around and all.


To all, for women, NEVER OVERESTIMATE HOW SAFE THE AREA IS!!!! Always take precautions and error of safety.
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Apsara



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 2142
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you stay in well-lit areas, even in Kabukicho and Roppongi at night you're unlikely to have problems. During the day both areas are perfectly safe, lots of families live in and around Roppongi (including lots of expats) and there are upmarket shopping areas there too. My son went to daycare for a while right behind Roppongi station and now goes to one in Shinjuku.

As a woman I wouldn't walk through any park in any part of Japan by myself late at night- very occasionally you hear about women being attacked, usually in the wee hours of the morning.

I've been in Tokyo since 1995 and I don't feel anything has really changed as far as safety goes- it's still one of the safest big cities in the world, whichever way you look at it. Most of the stories you hear out of Roppongi are spiked drink/ credit card scams. Easy solution: stay out of the bars in the side streets around Roppongi crossing, or if you must go, leave the cards at home!
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jmatt



Joined: 29 Apr 2012
Posts: 103

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apsara wrote:


As a woman I wouldn't walk through any park in any part of Japan by myself late at night- very occasionally you hear about women being attacked, usually in the wee hours of the morning.



Years ago, when we lived in Koenji, one night my wife was followed home---not in a park, but mere meters from our house---then the freak rushed up behind her and tried to pull her skirt up and take a picture. Bizarre!
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Apsara



Joined: 20 Sep 2005
Posts: 2142
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also followed home, then grabbed and groped right outside my apartment in Yokohama about 12 years ago. I ran after the guy screaming obscenities, didn't catch up with him unfortunately. Thankfully haven't experienced anything else similar since then.

I actually live near Koenji now, like other parts of Japan there are a few weirdoes around! Flashers etc aren't all that unusual, but the real violent attacks by strangers mainly seem to happen in parks and other poorly lit areas.
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