Is Japan the safest country in the world?

Public safe inJapan Situations

Urban legend or truth?

Someone dropped his wallet, but it was returned to him without any money being taken out. A person gets drunk and sleeps soundly on a train, but nothing is stolen. A woman walking alone late at night in downtown Tokyo to go shopping at a convenience store. Although Japanese public safety is often talked about like an urban legend, I, as a resident of Tokyo, can attest that all of them are true.

Of course, events like these were just lucky, and unfortunately I cannot promise that they will always be the same. However, the likelihood of a fortunate outcome is probably higher than in other countries.

Where does Japan’s safety come from?

crowded shibuya

First of all, owning firearms is prohibited by law in Japan, and the likelihood of being involved in a gun-related crime is extremely low. The incidence of terrorism and murder is also low. It is said that this is due to a non-violent culture that values honor and courtesy, which is the Japanese temperament, and considers anger and aggression to be shameful and childish. These reasons are not necessarily incorrect, but they are often “tatemae. (“Tatemae” is the Japanese word for a pretense that hides the true nature of the situation.)

Japan’s security comes from the fact that it is a mono-ethnic country that has not embraced multiculturalism for a long time. By living only with similar people, the society acts as a watchdog, and I feel that peer pressure is a deterrent to crime. I believe that peer pressure has brought a positive aspect of safety, but it has also taken away freedom.

Some people may find it difficult to live in Japan, but I think it is the best country to visit as a tourist, so feel free to travel to Japan!

Now, here is some information that will actually help you during your trip.

KOBAN (Police Boxes) Can Help You

sign of koban
sign of “KOBAN”

Police boxes actually protect the safety of the streets in Japan. In every city in Japan, there is a police box, a small building with uniformed police officers. Depending on the size of the city, there may be one or more police officers stationed there. They are there not only in case of any kind of trouble, but also to give you directions and help you with lost and found items. If you are in trouble during your trip, you can run to the KOBAN.

Walk the streets in your own style

In a big city like Tokyo, people are not so surprised if you dress up in an eccentric way (of course you will attract attention). In some ways, people in Japan are more accustomed to the oddly dressed than in other countries, thanks in part to the cosplay-loving nature of the Japanese people. For example, for those who like the Gothic Lolita fashion, it is everyday wear, but to those around them it is a costume. It is not that unusual to see such people in Tokyo. Therefore, I would like people to walk around Japan dressed as they like.

You probably won’t be in any danger if you walk around with other people of the same sex in a friendly manner. (They may look at you with curious eyes, but not with hostility.) Even among female friends, it is common to see them holding hands or holding each other’s arms, so you don’t have to worry about it as much as you would with male friends.

Some people are not used to foreigners

As is the case all over the world, people in urban areas have more opportunities to come into contact with a variety of people and are more “accustomed” to visitors to Japan. In Japan, being a closed environment with a single ethnic group, people who look different from the rest of the population tend to stand out. Therefore, the further one goes into the countryside, the more unusual it is to see a foreigner who is not of East Asian descent. However, they are not malicious, so don’t worry too much.

At the very least, take care and enjoy your stay in Japan with an easygoing attitude.