The culture that is Japan

by on November 17, 2012 at 7:14 am in Current Affairs, Law | Permalink

The number of elderly criminals being caught by Japanese police has rocketed, the Japanese Justice Ministry said yesterday, with pensioners committing almost 50 times more assaults than two decades ago.

The number of criminals aged 65 or older booked by police last year increased by 475 from the previous year to 48,637, more than six times as many as 20 years ago, the ministry said in its latest white paper on crime.

Here is more, courtesy of Mark Thorson.

1 Rich Berger November 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

I guess younger people just don’t want to go into crime. At this rate, there soon won’t be any crime .

2 Rahul November 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

Isn’t that an increase of less than 1% from last year? That’s probably swamped by other year-to-year variations in the data.

Even compounded over 20 years that won’t account for a 500% increase. So if there was a geriatric crime-spike it might be far in the past. Also, what’s the rate of increase of the 65+ general population cohort in Japan, anyone know?

3 Careless November 17, 2012 at 5:10 pm

1% has to be below their population growth rate in that bracket, so that’s presumably a rate decline YOY

4 Ronald Brak November 17, 2012 at 8:35 am

Decreasing tolerance for domestic abuse could be a factor with more assaults being reported rather than merely endured.

5 maguro November 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I would think this probably accounts for most of it.

6 KLO November 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Article says that shoplifting and theft are the biggest causes of the increase. From what I have heard, older people in Japan are desperate due to declining living standards and have resorted to petty crime. Younger people, having not experience the good times of the past, do not suffer from the nationwide decline in living standards to the same degree that the old do.

7 Andrew M November 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

“The number of criminals aged 65 or older [is] more than six times as many as 20 years ago.”
While it’s hard to find precise demography figures, it is entirely plausible that the number of people aged 65+ has increased six-fold since 20 years ago. Bear in mind that anyone aged under 85 was only a child during WWII. These people didn’t suffer the war, while enjoying the subsequent rapid economic growth and increase in living standards.

8 Rahul November 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

I did some data crunching: In 1989 the total population was ~123 million and of those 11% were in the 65+ cohort.

Current population is ~127 million with 23% in the 65+ cohort. That’s a change from 13.5 Million to 29.2 million.

So there’s no way there has been a sixfold increase in the 65+ cohort; at best a doubling.

9 Peter Fox November 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

Is this because older people are becoming more criminally minded? Younger people are suffering from lower testosterone levels? The police are becoming less tolerant of bad behavior amongst the elderly?

Or: could it be because thanks to modern medical science there are just so many more elderley people about these days?

10 derek November 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Maybe with retirement these folks have time to peruse the Japanese government balance sheet.

11 Thor November 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm

The criminally inclined are living longer too…

12 CMS November 18, 2012 at 1:09 am

I can’t believe there are eleven comments and no one linked to this yet.

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