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About your safety while traveling in Japan

Security in Japan

They say that Japan is one of the safest countries in the world.
Surely the crime rate of Japan as defined by the United Nations is less than half of main Western countries.

If a case of purse-snatching or pickpocket has caused, even it is reported on local news in Japan.
I myself never have come such unlucky case in my life.

Even if you have dropped your wallet somewhere, you have the possibility to get back it.
Because if a good person find it fortunately, he/she brings it to Koban. The police keeps it until the owner come to get back.
When you have found trouble, visit a nearest Koban first.

There is hardly dangerous town or slum in Japan.
You can walk around safely whole of Japan. And degree of safety about going out at night is higher than other countries.

Food safety

We Japanese are very sensitive to food safety.

Since BSE's discovery in American cattle, Japanese consumers have been paying attention to their beef.
Also hazardous residual pesticide of Chinese-grown vegetables became a problem.
Recently some companies were charged with mislabeling of expiration date or production area.

Such social problem makes Japanese more sensitive.
But in a sense, you can have safe foods in Japan. Because all cooks get safe ingredients and they cook more hygienically.
Please taste the safe Japanese food.


Japan is a earthquake-prone country.
Some small earthquakes strike somewhere in Japan every month, and severe earthquake happens every a few years.

Japanese researchers have tried to predict when and where the next earthquake will occur for a long time.
Espeacially it is expected that great "Tokai Earthquake", "Nankai Earthquake" and "Tonankai Earthquake" along the southern coast of Japan will occur within 20-30 years.
Enormous damage is anticipated in the region, and especially, and it includes the very important area in Japan for industry and distribution. (Between Tokyo and Nagoya)
Therefore the network of seismic stations is installed in this area.

But the prediction of earthquake is very difficult.
So a new system for disaster prevention has started at October 2007.

When the system has caught the precedent earthquake wave, it sends automatically the alarm of earthquake generation to broadcast station.
And TVs and radioes tell the alarm to people at the same time.
People assures own safety during several seconds until the actual quake starts.

When an earthquake has occurs during your travel, there is no way to run.
Wait there until the quake stops with attention to falling objects.
Most Japanese people are nerveless when an earthquake has occured.
You must not lose your cool. Anybody (Attendant of hotel, station and so on) certainly leads you to safe place.

Generally, the scale of earthquake is expressed in magnitude.
In Japan, the scale of the quake on each place is expressed in the rank 0 to 7 in terms of disaster prevention.
Soon after an earthquake, the ranks of the quake at many points are reported in the media.

Rank Condition Damage Frequency
0 Imperceptible to people. No Some times
a month
1 Felt by only some people in the building. No
2 Felt by most people in the building. Some people awake. No
3 Felt by most people in the building. Some people are frightened. Rare
4 Many people are frightened. Some people try to escape from danger.
Most sleeping people awake.
A little Some times
a year
5-lower Most people try to escape from a danger. Some people find it difficult to move. Some A few times
a year
5-upper Many people are considerably frightened and find it difficult to move. Some
6-lower Difficult to keep standing. Large Once
in a few years
6-upper Impossible to keep standing and to move without crawling. Great
7 Thrown by the shaking and impossible to move at will. Enormous A few times
in a century

East Japan Great Earthquake On March 11, 2011, very great earthquake and tsunami struck east Japan.
Main area was the east coast of Tohoku area.
The earthquake size was M9.0 and it was one of the strongest earthquakes in the world since 19th century.
In this area, it was the worst earthquake since 869, and all were beyond human assumption.

The rank of the scale in main cities
Rank 7 = Kurihara city (Miyagi Pref.)
Rank 6 upper = Sendai / Utsunomiya
Rank 6 lower = Koriyama / Mito / Narita
Rank 5 upper = Fukushima / Morioka / Nikko / Tokyo


There is the vast Pacific Ocean to the south of Japan.
Near the equator in the ocean, more than ten typhoons are spawned every year.

Some of them move toward the north and hit Japan. Most of them come between July and September.
Like hurricane and cyclone, fierce storm causes damage in large area.

The weather forecasts on TV and radio say early about detailed information of the typhoon which has a possibility to come to Japan.
Pay attention to the weather forecast when you visit Japan in this season.
If a typhoon is coming, it disrupts many transportation. Probably you may be forced to change your travel schedule.

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