Tokyo: The number of crimes recorded in Japan in 2022 rose for the first time in the last 20 years, following the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in the Asian nation, the Kyodo news agency reported on Thursday, citing police data.
According to the report, 601,389 incidents, in which a crime was committed, were recorded in Japan in 2022, a 5.9% increase compared to 2021 when the rate was at its lowest level since the postwar era. The police also recorded 115,730 cases of suspected mistreatment of minors and 84,493 cases of domestic violence in 2022, which also hit all-time records.
The number of financial crimes rose 28.2% year-on-year, with total damage having amounted to 36.14 billion yen ($281 million), the first increase in the last eight years.
Crimes involving ransomware cyberattacks against companies and organizations rose 57.5% year-on-year. The police also recorded 1,131 cases of crimes involving illegal money transfers and online fraud, the first increase in the last three years.
Heinous crimes, including murder, were up 8.1% to 9,536 cases in 2022, with the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on July 8 being the most notorious crime.
Kyodo also cited the National Police Agency’s online survey, conducted in October 2022, as showing that 67.1% of respondents said public safety in Japan had declined in the past 10 years.
Monthly crime rates have been gradually increasing since the spring of 2022 due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Japan, the report said.