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Recently, there have been a lot of stories in the news that have not shown the Japanese police in a particularly good light. Many of these are connected with stalking.

For example, I’m sure you all know the story about the young girl who was killed recently by an ex-boyfriend who was stalking her. The girl and her parents had asked the police for help, but it seems that they did not take the threat seriously enough.

I was reading another story last week written by a foreign woman who had been attacked while riding her bicycle in Tokyo. She said that when she reported the incident to the police, the officer just said, “Well, I suppose the guy has gone now, so there’s not much we can do.”

Reading the comments on these articles on the Japan Today website, it seems that a lot of foreigners who live in Japan think that Japanese police are incompetent and lazy. My own experience has been mixed – some good, and some bad, and I was wondering what Japanese people think of their police force. Are they generally admired and trusted, or have things changed in recent years?

Have any of you ever been in a situation where you needed to ask the police for help? If so, were you happy with the way they dealt with your problem?

Look forward to hearing your stories.

このブログは英語学習者のためのものです。レベルの高い人もいれば、初心者もいますので、自分のレベルや学習経験を気にする必要はありません。「いつもコメントを書いている人は仲間みたいだから参加しにくい」と思う方もいるかもしれませんが、勇気を出してコメントを書いてみてください。必ず温かく迎えてもらえます。多くのコメントは英語で書かれていますが、もちろん日本語もOKですし、英語と日本語を混ぜて書いても大丈夫です。言いたいことが言えないときは、How do you say 「〜」in English? と聞けば、きっとだれかが教えてくれると思います。私のエントリー、または他のメンバーのコメントの中に分からないところがあったら、「”…”はどういう意味ですか?」と遠慮なく聞いてください。このブログで使われているフレーズや表現をたくさん吸収すると、より自然な英語に近づけることができますよ!

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21 Comments

  1. YU on Monday November 4th, 2013 at 08:50 PM

    Hi David,

    > What is the correct answer supposed to be? Is it “in her class”?

    As I wrote,

    of theirs / of all / in her class

    >“Them” cannot be used because if you put it in this sentence, it would be referring to her classmates, not the feet. You could say “She has the smallest feet among them,” though.

    I see, so “of theirs”(model answer)=”of their feet”?

    > More to the point, why on earth is anybody asking pointless questions like this to children who need to learn English for communication??

    Actually, it was a question asking them to change a comparative sentence to the supelative sentence. My student answered it perfectly except for the last part. However, still it’s a pointless question. No one objects to what you say!



  2. Taro on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 05:11 AM

    Nice to meet you, all, I study English, and try to improve to read carefully and to write specifically, so what does it mean ” the Japanese police in a particularly good light.” it means, the Japanese police find a good way perfectly?



  3. Biwa on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 08:37 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Well, fortunately, I cannot remember any experiences that I had to ask the police for help except for asking the way to some places. I think their reception as individuals were relatively good. However, I don’t really trust the police as a whole because we hear so many crimes committed by police officers themselves. Taking peeping photos, drunken driving, embezzlement, etc.

    Regarding the stalking incidents, of course I feel really sorry for the victims, but I rather feel more interested in what made the stalkers to commit such crimes probably because I have two young boys, and the stalkers are almost always boys! Are boys more sensitive than girls that they tend to think that breaking up with a girlfriend makes them feel like it’s the end of the world? Or, as often said, are they lacking communication skills? Anyway, I always tell my sons that half of the people on earth are women, and that you don’t have to waste the rest of your lives by stalking or killing her! I don’t want to sound like I’m making fun of those terrible incidents, but I feel really sorry for those young men who couldn’t think about things from other sides.



  4. Biwa on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 08:42 AM

    Hi Taro,

    Nice to have you with us. Your comment suddenly appeared right after I posted mine. Regarding your question, I think the Japanese goes like this: 最近、日本の警察にとってあまり評判がいいとは言えない話題が多い



  5. Biwa on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 08:50 AM

    correction:

    >Are boys more sensitive than girls that they tend to think that breaking up with a girlfriend makes them feel like it’s the end of the world?

    Are boys more sensitive than girls that they tend to think that breaking up with a girlfriend is like the end of the world?



  6. YU on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 09:27 AM

    Hi Taro,

    Nice to have you with us! 🙂

    > Recently, there have been a lot of stories in the news that have not shown the Japanese police in a particularly good light.

    “In a good light” alone means “望ましい/好ましい状況で”. When it is used with “not…particularly”, it would mean “あまり好ましくない状況で”. So, the whole sentence literally means “最近日本の警察が好ましい状況であることを示さないようなニュース記事が目に付く”, in other words, “最近日本の警察があまり好ましい状況にないことを示すニュース記事が目に付く”, as Biwa mentioned.

    I’m looking forward to your next comment!



  7. mt on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Hi all,
    This post is my fist comment.

    I feel that Japnese police is not so bad compared with other Asian country.
    Of course I understand that like this comparing is not matters a lot when we discuss this issue if the Japanese police quolity is good or not.

    But I live in Shanghai now and I often feel the public safety in Japan is much better than in here.
    Many people who run for restaurant or bar experience that the local police request them some money or goods as an under table (bribery) in here.
    If they reject their request, there is a possibility that the police may force them to close their store.

    By the way I checked the number of police in Japan via internet and found out there are 288,000 at the instant of 2006.
    So I belive that there are a lot of police who can deal with the incident as serious matter but I also feel that there are some police who cannot take the inciendet with their sense of responsibility as a police.



  8. David on Tuesday November 5th, 2013 at 03:53 PM

    Hi Taro and mt,

    Nice to have you with us.



  9. Taro on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 05:47 AM

    Hi, everyone,
    Thank you for your explanations, it is good to under-standard 🙂 nowadays, i didn’t check the news. 単語が理解できるんですけどどのように長文を解くかが全くできません、自分のデスクワークの乏しさがあるので。悲



  10. Taro on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 05:52 AM

    Hi, David,

    My father is a policeman, sometimes, he goes to work after midnight, and participate in the crackdown for wandering teenager, or finding some weird people. One day, when i was going to my friend home at night, some policemen was doing crackdown on my way.to my surprise, one of my policeman was my father! I greeted to him, and showed my drivers license, it was kinda shameful with no reason,,,意味はないけど恥ずかしかったです、



  11. Biwa on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 09:34 AM

    Hi mt,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂
    It’s really interesting to hear how things go on in other countries.

    I think we have lots of nasty bribery cases in Japan, too. Where there is power, there is almost always bribery!

    As for the number of the police officers, it seems that we have one police officer for every 550 people in Japan. Of course, the ratio must differ from city to city, but I don’t think that would be enough to monitor all suspicious stalkers.

    Hi Taro,

    You must be really proud of your father. Many of those wandering teenagers tend to be involved in various crimes. I really admire people who try to help them like your father.

    Hi David,

    By the way, what made you decide becoming a teacher? I mean, why did you quit being a police officer?



  12. YU on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 09:39 AM

    Hi everyone,

    One night about eight years ago, I happened to witness three men fighting on the street right next to my apartment. It seemed that a man was attacked by two men. The man looked very weak, I felt he might die soon. I got very scared, so I rushed into my house, locked the door, and called to the police immediately. The nearest police station answered, so I told them the address of the spot. I heard a siren before a few minutes had passed. Although I refused to tell who I was, the police believed my report and rushed to the scene to rescue the man. I was glad to know that the police would always stand by us, but you could also say that they only performed their duties?!

    Hi mt,

    Nice to have you with us! 🙂

    > I feel that Japnese police is not so bad compared with other Asian country.

    I agree with you.
    Generally speaking, the Japanese police isn’t as irresponsible or untrustworthy as that of other Asian countries.
    My Indonesian husband has once told me that people often give money under the table to police officers to have them overlook their minor crimes like speeding, illegal parking, etc in his country. As you might guess, almost no police officer refuses to receive it!

    I’m not really sure if the Japanese police is getting lazy, but apparently it is true that the arrest rate is dropping. However, it might be because the crimes become increasingly transnational and the types of crime become diversified with the developments of communication network.

    Although I hear a lot of stories like the stalker’s murder case in Mitaka, it seems to be still difficult for the police to intervene in the cases before something happens. Everyone says that it is too late after something happens, but on the other side, people are getting more strict about their privacy or human rights, so the police is afraid of being sued by citizens for their overdoing and they’re forced to be indecisive.
    I want to believe that the Japanese police isn’t getting lazy, but they’re just caught between their sense of justice and the changing society.



  13. Taro on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 02:03 PM

    Hi Yu,

    Thank you for your response,, response? which one??

    So, I decided to move out from my parents, to go to urban area, Tokyo. My hometown is very suborning country, Niigata prefecture. This is why I wanted to have a job at Tokyo, not police and I always saw my father’s job style, did not want to be a policeman like my father… how about you, all?? policeman has to a serious responsibility at all events…



  14. Biwa on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 03:46 PM

    Hi YU and everyone,

    >I want to believe that the Japanese police isn’t getting lazy, but they’re just caught between their sense of justice and the changing society.

    Me, too! However, I think the police needs to do something as the number of those serious stalking incidents just seem to increase. I wonder why they can’t send those suspects to jail(or at least prosecute) for frightening the victims by following after, sending nasty e-mails or ringing the phone continuously. That is already a crime, isn’t it?



  15. YU on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 07:32 PM

    Hi Biwa,

    > However, I think the police needs to do something as the number of those serious stalking incidents just seem to increase.

    I think so, too.
    The anti-stalking law has already been in enforce, but it seems to be not effective enough to protect us from stalkers.

    > I wonder why they can’t send those suspects to jail(or at least prosecute) for frightening the victims by following after, sending nasty e-mails or ringing the phone continuously. That is already a crime, isn’t it?

    I think so, too, however, I don’t really think sending them to jail for some time solves the problems. I heard that 80-90 % of stalkers stop stalking after getting the warning from the police, but those who stalk and try to hurt or kill their ex-girlfriends are mad, so I don’t think they’ll suddenly stop stalking after being released from prison. Besides, I wonder if it is a right thing to keep them in custody forever just because they are dangerous although actually they haven’t hurt or killed anyone yet. Besides stalkers, there’re also many other dangerous people(nealy criminal people) in our country.
    So, I think now we need to work out another ways other than just warning or arresting them(stalkers).



  16. Fumie on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Hi David and everyone,

    >Are they generally admired and trusted, or have things changed in recent years?
    -Generally speaking, I guess they are admired and trusted but when the wrongdoings by police officers are revealed or they deal with stalker incidents inadequately we lose trust in them.

    >Have any of you ever been in a situation where you needed to ask the police for help?
    – I asked police for help only minor things: asked directions and when my son had lost his wallet. They handled the problems well and were kind to me. So personally I don’t have a negative feeling toward them. But it’s depends on each officer. Some are good and some are arrogant.

    Hi Taro and mt,

    Nice to have you with us. 🙂

    Hi mt and YU,

    Thank you for telling us the situations of police in other Asian countries. So compared to other Asian countries, Japanese police are better.

    Hi Biwa and David,

    >By the way, what made you decide becoming a teacher? I mean, why did you quit being a police officer?
    – I think David told us about that in older comments but I forgot what he wrote.
    What I want to know is what made you decide to become a police officer in the first place. What attracted you to the job?



  17. mt on Wednesday November 6th, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Good evening,

    Biwa and Yu thank you for your commend for my post.

    I feel these days that education is one of the important thing not only for police but also for such a suspects, of course, this apply to myself.

    I want to believe that the suspects don’t have such a stalker personality originally.
    There may be some little small triger to have the stalking character.
    I feel that the education have some power to change the triger to right direction if they received the proper education when they were young age.

    I cannot express suitably what kind education is best but I just feel like above.



  18. YU on Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 01:06 AM

    correction ;
    > it seems to be not effective enough to protect us from stalkers

    it doesn’t seem to be effective enough…..

    Hi everyone,

    Let me explain what I wanted to say with the following sentence.

    > Besides stalkers, there’re also many other dangerous people(nealy criminal people) in our country.

    Besides stalkers, there’re a lot of other types of dangerous people in our country, too. If it is possible, I want all yakuzas or lunatics to be in jail until they die to prevent possible crimes in advance, but of course, it’s impossible to do that unless they commit crimes in reality. And even if they commited crimes, they would be set free after they serve time sometime in the future. Likewise, I don’t think it’s possible to sentence particularly only stalkers to severe punishments.
    Our constitution says that “We are all equal under the law”, that means, even stalkers or possible murders have the same human rights as us. So, as I mentioned before, it’s still very difficult for the police to intervene in the cases before something happens. If we want them to control possible criminals more strictly than now, we first need to give the police legal special privileges to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t think they can do so much for us under the current anti-stalking law. However, we should always remember that special privileges can be easily misused, too.



  19. Biwa on Thursday November 7th, 2013 at 09:48 AM

    Hi everyone,

    I think the difficult part of the anti-stalker regulation is that the victims need to accuse the stalker first. It’s a matter of course, but if it were me, I know I would hesitate a lot because I would have to worry being resented by the stalker for the rest of my life. He knows who accused him, and he may try to pay back. That would be very scary. However, if I were an innocent suspect, I don’t want the police to charge me without any chances to justify myself.

    It’s a real difficult problem, and I totally agree with what mt said. I think education is really important for both preventing and atoning such crimes. I guess they need a more psychological approach. But I know this would be difficult, too, because I don’t think stalkers would willingly receive mental counseling.

    However, I think discussing the stalker problems at school would be very effective. Students might be able to help not only themselves but also their friends from committing such crimes. I’ll ask my sons tonight if they have ever talked about this at school.



  20. amo on Friday November 8th, 2013 at 08:33 AM

    Hi David and everyone,
    Luckily, I never have been involved with the police, but asked directions a couple of times. As I can remember, they were kind so I don’t have any bad feelings toward them. When I hear policemen do something wrong or do some stupid things, I feel sorry for other policemen.

    Oh, it’s my stop, so I got to go bye for now.

    amo



  21. Biwa on Friday November 8th, 2013 at 09:21 AM

    Hi everyone,

    Well, it seems that students are often warned about dangerous online sites- such as dating sites- but have never really thought about stalking stories. Moreover, I wonder why the teachers just give students warnings instead of giving them a chance to discuss. I think it would involve the students much more.

    By the way, has anyone seen the news about the woman who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in Zushi(Kanagawa)? The reporter said that the city office leaked her address even though she had asked them not to disclose her personal information to anyone. She had been stalked since before, and she tried to protect herself as much as possible. I can’t imagine how scared she was. I really hope they investigate thoroughly why the leak happened.