93 cops, police officials arrested; 458 disciplined in 2012

TOKYO —

The National Police Agency said Thursday that 93 police officers and police officials were arrested in 2012 and another 458 received disciplinary action.

The NPA said the number of arrests was 27 more than in 2011 and the most since 2002. The number disciplined was 91 more than 2011 and the first time since 2004 that the figure exceeded 400.

Of those arrested, the main offenses were sexual molestation, theft and accepting bribes, the NPA said. Among those who received disciplinary action, the main offenses were accepting bribes, sexual harassment, falsifying evidence and altering reports.

Japan Today

  • 3

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Of those arrested, the main offenses were sexual molestation, theft and accepting bribes, the NPA said. Among those who received disciplinary action, the main offenses were accepting bribes, sexual harassment, falsifying evidence and altering reports. WOW!! So this proves that Japanese are people too! This just proves there are BAD APPLES anywhere and everywhere, but very happy to know that the NPA is arresting these bad apples.

  • -1

    Mirai Hayashi

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely

  • -6

    Yubaru

    Why is it that I have a hard time believing these "statistics"?

  • -4

    KariHaruka

    93 is that all?

  • 1

    sillygirl

    I feel so safe

  • 4

    sfjp330

    They are only accused. Of the 93 police officers that were arrested, will the Japanese prosecutor get 99 percent conviction rate like the regular civilians? There might be a double standards for conviction rate of police officers.

  • 4

    kurisupisu

    No force likes to convict their own. Be sure that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • -3

    papigiulio

    shocking! Maybe they should hire yakuza instead.

  • -2

    SumoBob

    Those convicted will just get shuffled off into early retirement to the local pachinko promotion committee.

  • 6

    tusuba

    This is terrible actually. But the real problem here is most Japanese citizens clam up or are not interested in these issues at all while their tax is spent on these problematic civil servants' salary. They are always too tolerant.

  • 2

    cl400

    So every year there are a lot of police (and affiliates) arrested or disciplined and the heads in charge still haven't figured out that A: they are obviously not dishing out strict enough punishment to their own to prevent this and B: It is giving the police a bad image to the public.

  • 3

    Crazedinjapan

    What about the rest of the ones that slipped through the cracks?? Remember this is a country where the person beside you turns a blind eye.

    What's with keeping police officers employed that take bribes or break the code of conduct ?? Disciplined ?? Fire them!

    Falsifying evidence .....makes you wonder how many innocent people had information "extracted" from them during their 21 day interviews.

    Altering reports. I think people have a right to be worried and angry about the service they are depending on to keep the law and protect their areas . Better screening needed for this position.

  • 0

    Hiroicci

    I wish there was a data comparison between Japan and other major countries.

    The NPA said the number of arrests was 27 more than in 2011 and the most since 2002. The number disciplined was 91 more than 2011 and the first time since 2004 that the figure exceeded 400.

    Well, this tells little, because you might want to suspect that their illegal actions were probably condoned or not just reported. How do you expect us to believe that what happened a lot in 2012 didn't happen much in 2002, 2004 and 2011???

  • 0

    vctokyo

    I'm sure I read more than 93 articles on JT last year. @JT doesn't this support the need for a separate section on police crime

  • 0

    Saulo Akazawa

    This is a great step forward. I am not saying I disagree with most of the comments above and that these numbers make up 100% of the bad apples but keep up with giving them jail time. I don't think they should be made an example of but not specially lenient either. The only special trait to be observed in a case where a police officer is the culprit is that he or she is well educated to know the extent of the punishment brought by the actions perpetrated. Not to say that wakarimasen is an excuse but there are times when not knowing a specific information lead to an accident and then the fact of knowingly do something wrong make all the difference.

  • -1

    letsberealistic

    KariHarukaFEB. 01, 2013 - 07:36AM JST 93 is that all?

    Agree; There has to be a lot more. Japan has similar police corruption rates as the US and UK, despite lower national crime levels.

  • -4

    nedinjapan

    If being a "total idiot" was added to this list, 40% of the police force would be incriminated. They need to recruit from more intelligent people and teach them how to think critically. Many of these police become tools for bullying citizens by the smarter criminals and sociopaths who know how to manipulate the police and misuse/abuse the law.

  • 2

    Ed High

    Lets us put it in perspective. There is 280, 000 + police in Japan, so the figures reported are not too bad. However, should we wonder how much more corruption and / or bad behavior has been swept under the carpet to prevent embarrassment / face?

  • 2

    Praveen Lama

    Shame on these corrupt cops but still a negligible %age in comparison to south Asian cops!

  • 4

    lucabrasi

    If being a "total idiot" was added to this list, 40% of the police force would be incriminated.

    True everywhere.

  • -2

    redsac

    Almost 2 a day. Setting the bar pretty high for 2013

  • -4

    Disillusioned

    They must a pretty flexible screening process for job applicants. Reckon they'd probably give me a job too. :P.

  • -4

    basroil

    KariHarukaFeb. 01, 2013 - 07:36AM JST

    93 is that all?

    All they were forced to arrest, the rest of those that deserve jail time got off with reprimands or nothing at all.

    Considering the number of cops total, it's statistically improbable for there to be that few of incidents even if the cops are five times less likely to commit crimes (which they likely aren't)

  • 1

    Wakarimasen

    That's probably more than either yaks or people doing illegal things on their bicycles. i like the prevelance of sexual molestation and harassment as principal offences.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    "Absolute power corrupts absolutely..."

    "I feel so safe..."

    "shocking! Maybe they should hire yakuza instead."

    " . . . doesn't this support the need for a separate section on police crime . . . "

    How Pavlovian of you all. Police crime gets mentioned and the sweeping generalizations come out in force. It's a typical day at JT.

    There are some 280,000 members of the police force in Japan, from officials to beat cops to administrative positions.

    I know most of you don't particularly care about facts when they get in the way of your desire to disparage the police at every opportunity because cops in your country are , oh, so much better in all ways, but . . . .

    458 arrests represents less than 1% of the entire Japanese police force. Less than one percent.

    Even allowing for the most sensationalized exaggeration of hidden corruption, that number is not going to rise significantly enough to warrant the above comments.

    Again, I don't expect many here to actually care about the real numbers, but it was worth a try, if for no other reason than to allay your fears the nation is on the brink of anarchy.

  • 1

    gogogo

    So bad...

  • -2

    humanrights

    i think its way more than 93 of them! I knew this all along.' falsifying evidence' did the accused get a re-trial?

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Among those who received disciplinary action, the main offenses were accepting bribes, sexual harassment, falsifying evidence and altering reports.

    So accepting a bribe doesn't get you arrested or fired?

  • 0

    martyman

    With the numbers making headlines, you would expect protests from the locals demanding a way for leadership to figure out how to reduce numbers of the corrupt police officials in office (arrested officers). The other 450+ receiving disciplinary actions were probably dealt with at the proper levels once their offenses were discovered.

  • 0

    Open Minded

    LFRAgain: Close to 1% of reported convinced offense let easily supposed at least the double of wrongdoing without being excessively speculative. This is not a small number for cops that are supposed to serve the population. Most likely this is a good score on the WW scale, but still too high.

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    @Fadamor,

    "So accepting a bribe doesn't get you arrested or fired?"

    From the article:

    "Of those arrested, the main offenses were sexual molestation, theft and accepting bribes"

    Getting arrested is considered disciplinary action. And being arrested is automatic grounds for dismissal in most work environments, particularly in Japan.

    @Open Minded,

    "Close to 1% of reported convinced offense let easily supposed at least the double of wrongdoing without being excessively speculative"

    I never said, "close" to one percent. I said "less than." And I was trying to be kind to those here less inclined to do the math themselves. You want the real percentage? 458 arrests represents precisely 0.14% That's almost a tenth of a percentage of all Japanese police.

    This is not a small number for cops that are supposed to serve the population.

    Are you honestly trying to assert that 0.14% of a police force of 280,000 is "not a small number?" Based on what criteria? Bluster, rhetoric, and emotional sophistry?

    According to an annual ranking of countries published by Transparency International, a German NGO, using 17 different points of data in calculating the scores, Japan ranks 14th of 176 countries in the world in terms of perception of being least corrupt, ahead of countries like the UK, France, and the US. New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland were at the top of this list and Afghanistan , Somalia, and North Korea were at the bottom.

    Point one four percent is a small number by most estimates.

    Mind you, this index only ranks countries based on perception of corruptability, since actual corruption is virtually impossible to calculate. One can only speculate, based in large part on . . . perceptions.

    So let's just go ahead and perceive Japan as being a cesspool of corruption and that Japan's police are simply villians preying on an unsuspecting, powerless civilian population, shall we?

    Let's "avoid excessive speculation" and double the number of actual arrests to 916. That still amounts to only 0.327% of the entire police force, which is still less than one percent of all police.

    Okay, let's go one better. Let's quadruple the number of police arrested to 1832. Damn! That only results in a non-rage inspiring 0.654% of the entire police force. Just what have we got to do to justify our fear of corrupt cops?!

    Ah! I've got it! Let's just go nuts and assume there are actually ten times more "bad cops" out there than the 458 arrested. That works out to 4,580 of Japan's Finest making your every waking hour a living hell due to the fear and mistrust that comes from being surrounded by all these corrupt cops. 4,580 bad cops! Yeah! Now we're talking shameless corruption! :-D

    But wait... That only works out to 1.635% of the entire police force being corrupt. Well, we've finally broken the one-percent mark. But I'm still not feeling the urge to look over my shoulder every time I walk down the streets of Japan. Are you?

    Sigh . . .

    How about we all just take a deep breath and turn our indignation towards a news item that's more significant?

  • 2

    theturnkey

    Of those arrested, the main offenses were sexual molestation, theft and accepting bribes

    Thank goodness the "ex-cop" from Toyama arrested in Dec 2012 (double murder of an elderly couple reported in JT Dec 24) is an EX-COP. Otherwise we'd have to upgrade that main offense claim! Course he allegedly murdered the couple while still a cop.

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