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Fatal crimes


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Is Japan turning into a slaughterhouse? Take a look at these headlines from the past few days:

2 men charged with murdering sax player's elder brother

Gangsters suspected of abducting man from Tokyo Station

Architect found stabbed in Osaka parking lot

2 men rob Tokyo restaurant of 1.7 million yen

Architect killed in home

Man slays brother-in-law for jilting sister

Woman teacher stabs toy boy lover

Owner found strangled in burnt out apartment

Adult son nabbed over brutal murder of parents

Kitakyushu torturer admits to mutilating relatives' bodies

Court rules 'evil' parents fatally starved disabled girl

Mom kills 2 kids in leap off dock

Homeless man shot at shopping center in Shinagawa

... and on and on it goes. My wife who has left Japan more than two years ago is shocked whenever she's browsing J-news. Does this reflect a trend, or are these cases just within "normal statistical parameters"? Do you think it's media distorting reality, is it just sensationalism? Or is there an actual surge in fatal crimes in Japan, especially in domestic violence? Sadly, the number of infanticide seems to be high.

I'm not sure but definitely within the past 2 years the amount of news coverage has proven to be scary. Tonight too, somebody not to far off from where I live was found dead.

Maybe, the news is taking hints from the states?
I can't compare with what it used to be, but I admit being flabbergasted everytime I read the Mainichi Daily News's Top 10 stories (have a look at previous months's titles as well). I suppose that Japanese people are just more a tabloid-inclined audience than what we are used to. Or isn't it rather the international community in Japan that like such stories ? I have realised that news in Japanese and English were completely different in the same newspapers. Take the Mainichi's Japanese version, what do you find ? Oddly, no waiwai stories, no vicious crime, husbands found in fridges after 2 years or neighbours killing each others, just the usual news : business, IT, society, sport, politics, economy, international...

I think that the Yomiuri Online in English gives a better idea of what Japanese newspapers really look like. Tabloid stories are left for weeklies.

BTW, if you want a complete list of Japanese newspapers (in English and Japanese), weeklies (Japanese only), radio and TV channels, you can find it on on my site. For Japanese newspaper, click on the "others" link, which is an extensive list I've found on a Japanese site (Aera). It also has a worldwide selection of newspapers.

Problem is that I watch the news on TV and don't read the Japan Times anymore and the news stories are definitely getting rough and tough.
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