Tiny as their Numbers

An invitation for tips on catching foreigners who overstay their visas was published on the Japanese immigration service website a couple of years ago This is old news, but it resonates with the recent publication of the anti-foreigner magazine 犯罪外人裏ファイル (Secret File on Foreigner Crime). This comment from the article pretty much sums up the situation, which is worsening: 

“The overwhelming majority of people who break the law in this country are Japanese, but nobody would dream of asking for tips about suspicious Japanese,” said Shinichiro Nakashima, a member of Kumustaka, a support group for foreign workers in southern Japan.

Nakashima points to a fact rarely mentioned in the same breath as foreign crime: While the total number of crimes reported in Japan has risen to record highs for seven of the last eight years, the foreigners’ share remains as tiny as their numbers.

Last year’s headline-making figure of 40,615 offenses by foreigners amounted to 1.45 percent of the total. Most illegal aliens were arrested for a charge with no impact on public safety: overstaying their visas.

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