The National Police Agency said Thursday that 19,920 stalking cases were reported nationwide in 2012. The NPA said on its website that the figure was 36.3% up over 2011 and the highest number since the NPA started keeping records on stalking cases in 2000.
The NPA said arrests were made in 1,504 cases. Figures on the NPA site showed that 85.9% of the stalkers were men. More than 60% of incidents involved a current or former lover or separated spouse. The next biggest number involved acquaintances, followed by work colleagues.
The NPA came under intense pressure last year to tighten stalking laws after it was learned that Chiba prefectural police delayed accepting a report on a known stalker for more than a week and went on a three-day excursion to Hokkaido in December, 2011. The stalker killed two women shortly after.
Relatives of stalker victims have complained that victims in Japan are not offered the necessary protection from stalkers who ignore police restraining orders.