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Is Japan really safe?

gasper

TRIBE Member
The other night I experienced something shocking. I was coming home from Tokyo after spending the day at a multimedia festival. It was about 11:30pm when I got off the train. I was walking home, and was taking my usual route down a relatively dark and quiet street. As I neared my apartment, I noticed a woman walking alone, in the same direction as me, but about 300m ahead. A white mini-van passed me, slowed, and pulled up to a stop (between me and the woman). I was immediately suspicious and concerned. The van then moved slowly behind the woman, and she turned the next corner, out of my line of view. The van then followed her around the corner, so I raced ahead to see what was going on, fearing that the driver of the van was stalking the woman.

As it turns out, my suspicions were correct. I saw the van stop, and two men hopped out with it still running. The woman and the two men disappeared behind a building. At this point in time, my heart was racing, and I feared the worst. These men were predators, and I didn't know what I was going to have to deal with. I decided without hesitation that I would have to do something to prevent what might have been an attack. Since I was so close to my home, the thought of getting myself into a real mess did cross my mind, but I quickly came to terms with this, and decided that I'd be willing to risk any subsequent harm to myself if I could prevent an attack on this woman.

The three people reappeared on the other side of the building. I saw the LCD screen on the woman's cell phone light up, just as one man rushed in front of her to block her path. The second man stood behind her.

I was freaking out inside, and imagining the worst. I was still about 100m away, and decided that I'd try to scare them off from a distance. I shouted in a deep, booming voice, and tried to sound Japanese. I screamed "What are you doing!?" in Japanese, and the two men immediately ran back in the direction of the van, got in, and took off hurriedly in the opposite direction. I wasn't able to see them, or their license plate. By this time, a young man/woman couple had caught up to me, also walking in the same direction. I watched as the woman continued walking in the same direction while talking on her cell phone. After seeing the couple continue behind her, I figured she was safe and I deaked into my apartment, totally shaken by what I just witnessed.

I don't know what more to say right now, other than that I don't feel like Japan is all that safe. Up until now I've always suggested that my female friends not walk alone at night, and for certain, I won't allow them to do so in my neighborhood. I'll be out there to meet them at the station from now on.
 
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deep

TRIBE Member
good on you for doing what you did.

The potential negative was averted thanks to you, so now you can laugh at the ridiculousness of this woman talking on her cell phone, oblivious to what was happening.

Japan's streets may not be safe but they sure do love their electronics!
 

gasper

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Chubbs
You didn't even get a "Domo Arigato"?

To be honest, I preferred to remain anonymous, so I felt no need for thanks. It was dark, and I'm not even sure that she saw me!
 
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Chubbs

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by gasper
To be honest, I preferred to remain anonymous, so I felt no need for thanks. It was dark, and I'm not even sure that she saw me!

Didnt she hear you yell?
 

gasper

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Chubbs
Didnt she hear you yell?

Without a doubt. I was loud enough to scare off the two perverts, but I was trying to stay out of view. Since this happened right outside my apartment building I didn't want the guys to see me. I'd be easy to locate, being the only foreign guy in my neighborhood. I'd hate to become a target of a further attack.
 

gasper

TRIBE Member
Top headlines from the Mainichi Daily news English page (link ):

Crazed employee tries to kill company head with golf club

Schoolgirl mowed down for ignoring driver

Scandal-plagued politician offers to quit DPJ over 'confusion'

Hack adjusting peg leg exposes pecker to schoolgirl

Mighty massage parlor boss pinched

Fire official uses fire truck to attend party preparations

Couple arrested for sawing up body of elderly mom

Basketball coach 'massaged' girls' bodies for years

Professor sues Toshiba for 1 billion yen over patent rights
 
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Skipper

TRIBE Member
^^ All of that sounds similar to North American news.

I wasn't aware that Japan had a reputation for being safer than North America or anywhere else...
 

gasper

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Skipper
^^ All of that sounds similar to North American news.

I wasn't aware that Japan had a reputation for being safer than North America or anywhere else...

I think many people (myself included) have misconceptions about crime in Japan. Before moving here I thought Japan was exceptionally safe, but after living here for 6 months I think I've observed more crime than in Toronto in my 27 years.
 

Stan

TRIBE Member
Japan has a much higher concentration of population than Canada does, so it would be natural for you to witness more crime.
 

Stormshadow

TRIBE Member
Good job for doing what you did gasper.

But I do think it's a little naive to think that Japan is a safe haven...any major metropolitan area such as Tokyo is going to have crime.

And the "predetory" act you caught in action isn't out of the ordinary ...because Japan has one of the most steadily increasing sex crime rates and abductions in the world (especially involving minors).
 
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gasper

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Stormshadow
Good job for doing what you did gasper.

But I do think it's a little naive to think that Japan is a safe haven...any major metropolitan area such as Tokyo is going to have crime.

And the "predetory" act you caught in action isn't out of the ordinary ...because Japan has one of the most steadily increasing sex crime rates and abductions in the world (especially involving minors).

I live 2h north of Tokyo in a city of 100,000. Sorry for the ambiguity in my post.

I quickly learned about Japan's problems with sex crimes. It's f*cked up and it's a serious problem. Recently, one of my female students was groped by a pervert, and the female Japanese teacher she confided in told her (and later me) that she wears her skirt too short and wears too much makeup. I was appauled. Japan is worse off than North America was in the 1950's wrt women's rights. It's shameful, really.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
As a foreigner Japan is pretty safe because you most likely won't be targeted due to the fact you are a foreigner and stick out in a crowd and people are likely to see it. I felt pretty safe traveling in Japan, but growing up in Toronto I was always taught to keep my guard up.

That said nowhere is truly safe, especially a big city and one should always take percautions.
 

gollum

TRIBE Member
Basically I thought Japan was very safe...
unless you are a woman, as I think the stats are 1 in 3 women are raped in Japan.

That girl on the cell phone was probably just thinking, oh no raped again....
 
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