With no legal civilian handgun possession, Japan experiences in an average year less than 200 violent crimes perpetrated with a handgun, of which almost all are perpetrated by Boryokudan (Yakuzas), organised crime groups. Today, illegal guns are usually smuggled from overseas (especially from the Philippines and the United States) by organised crime gangs which also import pornography, drugs, and illegal immigrants. Tokyo is considered the safest major city in the world. Only 59,000 licensed gun owners live in Tokyo.
In the statistics, per one million inhabitants, Tokyo has 40 reported muggings a year; whereas New York has 11,000. Robbery is almost as rare as murder. Indeed, armed robbery and murder are both so rare that they usually make the national news, regardless of where they occur. Japan’s robbery rate is 1.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. The reported American robbery rate is 220.9. People walk anywhere in Japan at night, and carry large sums of cash.
The only type of firearm which a Japanese citizen may even contemplate acquiring is a shotgun. Sportsmen are permitted to possess shotguns for hunting and for skeet and trap shooting, but only after submitting to a lengthy licensing procedure. Without a license, a person may not even hold a gun in his or her hands. Although there is no mandatory minimum penalty for unlicensed firearm possession, 81 per cent of sentences for illegal firearm or sword possession are imprisonment for a year or more, perhaps because most gun crimes are perpetrated by professional criminals.
Japan’s gun control does play an important role in the low Japanese crime rate, but not because of some simple relation between gun density and crime. Japan’s gun control is one inseparable part of a vast mosaic of social control. Gun control underscores the pervasive cultural theme that the individual is subordinate to society and to the Government.
Hence, it could be seen that Japan’s strict gun control plays an important part in helping the Japanese crime rate, and furthermore, Japanese police are given a lot of respect when in helping out to solve a crime in Japan. Victims or suspected culprits would often cooperate with the Japanese police force, as it was given that a high percentage of the Japanese in society respects them and the way they carry out their duties.
Hence, it could be said that majority of Japanese’ major crimes are actually caused by the new-age Yakuzas, who defies their origins and their rules in the Yakuza’s society, and that, without them, Japanese would definitely be the safest country in the world.