Japan's homicide rate dips below 1,000

Jan. 11, 2014 at 5:00 PM

TOKYO, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Japan's homicide rate dipped below 1,000 cases for the first time in decades, police said. However, fraud cases have increased.

There were 939 cases of murder or attempted murder in 2013, the lowest number in the post-World War II era. That's an 8.8 percent drop from 2012, officials said, and it continues the downward trend in violent crimes in the nation for the last decade.

From the end of World War II to the 1960s, Japan averaged 2,500 to 3,000 murder and attempted murder cases per year. The amount has trended down slightly over time until last year's first triple-digit figure, The Asahi Shimbun reported Friday.

Break-ins and purse snatching incidents have also gone down, though fraud cases have seen a sharp increase, the newspaper said.

A total of 9,210 bank transfer fraud cases were recorded in 2013, a 45.2 percent increase.

Also on the increase are so-called "hey it's me" fraud reports. In those instances, thieves target elderly people pretending to be family members in need of money because of an emergency.

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