A really sick country

Japan is turning into a really sick country. According to media, a 25-year-old man this afternoon hit the people walking on the streets at Akihabara with his truck, jumped out of it and stabbed the people there at random with his survival knife, causing death to as many as seven people until now. The killer was arrested on the spot, saying he was "sick of life" and wanted to kill whomever he saw.
CNN.com: At least 7 dead in Tokyo stabbing spree
Japan Probe: Stabbing rampage in Akihabara: 7 people killed

Similar attacks have happened increasingly for years. On the same day of 2001, Mamoru Takuma broke into elementary school classrooms and stabbed eight students to death in Osaka. Two months ago a young man suddenly attacked the people walking around the railroad station, killing one and injuring many. Wherever you are, you can be a victim of such kind of crimes here, because this country has plenty of such kind of "sick-of-life" young people with no hope for the future, and such people may cause such kind of stabbing sprees to strangers or kill themselves with hydrogen sulfide.

I wonder if it is the best choice or not for me to keep living in this sick country. If I were more skilled in English and business skills and I had more money, I could move to the U.S. or another better country and settle there, rather than being scared of crimes happening every day.

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9 Replies to “A really sick country”

  1. Your article is slightly naive.
    I understand fully that people in Japan are shocked by today’s events, but to suggest that moving to the USA or Europe would be better does not put Japan into perspective compared with the rest of the world.
    Major cities all over the world have major crimes occuring there all the time. Tokyo is universally recognised as one of the safest cities in the world.
    The reason why Japanese people are so shocked by this event, is because that they are so rare. Even with the increase in crime, the increase is slightly misleading, because there is so little crime in the first place.
    Having lived in both the US (Baltimore) and UK (London) and now Japan (Utsunomiya) – I can say that if you moved to the other two countries, you would still have the same problems, but more of them. UK and US people are less shocked by these events, simply because they happen on a more regular basis. It doesn’t make it any less sick, but it also means, that they are not covered so heavily by the national press.
    Crimes happen every day in most countries all over the world, Japan happens to be one of the safest, and as a foreigner living in Japan and having lived in two cities that do have crime problems, I can say that when I’m in Japan, I feel safer than I have ever done in any other country.

  2. Hi Gareth, thank you for your message. Do such crimes happen on a regular basis in London or Baltimore? I’ve ever been in Washington, DC, and Honolulu and I found that the people there seemed to be more friendly and peaceful….

  3. I don’t know about Baltimore, but stabbings are pretty common in London. According to the Daily Telegraph sixteen teenagers have been stabbed to death in the last six months alone.
    Check out the link for the murder statistics for several countries. Japan doesn’t look so bad now, does it? 😉

  4. Hi Yuki,
    I agree with what Gareth said. Japan is generally safer than the U.S., and while emotions are high due to the Akiba killings, it is incorrect to think that this kind of thing wouldn’t happen elsewhere. I also don’t think it’s helpful to condemn the youths for “not having hopes for the future”. Youths everywhere face the same problem of deciding what to do in the future, and some of them don’t have the family support necessary to make the right decision for themselves. It would be more helpful if people stopped discriminating against these youths, but instead, tried to help them realize what they want to do. As you can see, it’s no longer “their problem” alone – it’s the society’s problem. And as a member of that society, you can contribute to solving that problem.

  5. Hi there, Yuki-san.
    You are japanese?
    Well, I’m malaysian here. I have read and watched the news, and it was completely rare to occur in Malaysia, but it’s very common.
    Gareth has told you a very good insight. Actually, Japan is utterly safe that many other people would try to live there. I’m the one of them. I am willing to exchange place if you want, but it’s just that I’m a kid so I shouldn’t think too much.
    Well, it’s exactly a typical cases. It’s okay to get shocked and scared, just imagine. My country has no jinshin/earthquake. So I will probably get scared if it happens here, but not to you, right?
    Anyhow, the best thing in Japan is not the society, but the green environment you can see today. I crave to sit even for 5 minutes in Japan. I hope you feel the same too.
    The factor he stabbed pedestrians was due to stress right? I heard that working industries have tight rules and the society seems to be traditional. Is that true? I think the government needs to be more open considering workers. It’s 25 year old man. I would say it’s highly rare, a 25 year old with stress. It must be something burdening him a lot.
    Well, nice to have slight talk here.

  6. Britain has one of the worst crime rates in Europe, a report said yesterday.
    It is the most burgled country in Europe, has the highest level of assaults and above average rates of car theft, robbery and pickpocketing. Only Ireland has a worse record.
    The 16th teenager this year was killed in london this week, im not sure what the figure is if you include all ages and the rest of britain but it is probably over 100.
    If you want to be safe really don’t move to London, and if you compare tokyo to other cities I think you’ll want to stay where you are. Crime is everywhere here 🙁

  7. Thank you everyone for new messages. I’m glad to have thought-provoking information from many of readers, and I’m a bit relieved to hear that this country is still safe. I was too emotional because I had such a shocking news that we were not used to have within an easy train-riding distance.
    I understand that many sources and statistics are proving that every other country has similar problems, in the U.S. or even in London! I didn’t know that stabbings were a serious issue also in London. We seldom see such news here that assaults and other serious crimes occur every day in those places.
    Although the reason why the killer committed the crime is under investigation by the police, in my opinion it is because he thought himself as a “loser” in society and chose to terminate his life catastrophically. I don’t know what I can do for such kind of youths, but we need to change Japanese society to be more generous to losers and those who make mistakes, and give them a chance to recover.

  8. I don’t think Japan is safer than any other developed countries. If we use statistics as the base, yes, Japan is safer than many other developed countries. But, Japanese society has unnatural high pressure which sometimes beyond logic and cannot be seen in any other countries.
    In short, living in Japan is much more damaging to the mental health, and it happens for everyone.

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