© 2004

Japan as a Low-Crime Nation


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Theoretical and Methodological Clarifications

  3. Japan as a Low-Crime Nation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 85-85
    2. Dag Leonardsen
      Pages 159-188
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 189-227

About this book


Criminologists have despaired that modernization and crime are inseparable. The more modern we become, the more criminal. Japan has long been seen as an exception to the rule. The reasons for this, however, have not been well understood. In this book, the independent value of culture is explored to reveal new insights. The author finds that while it remains the case that crime reduction may come at some cost to individual autonomy, the 'West' can learn from Japan to reduce the social harm of too much freedom. Instead of endless crime prevention programs through 'social engineering', policy makers could pay more attention to sociological insights concerning responsibility, obligations and collective identities.


community crime Crime Prevention culture Moral Nation social change society sociology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Lillehammer University CollegeNorway

About the authors

DAG LEONARDSEN is Professor of Sociology in the Faculty of Health and Social Studies, Lillehammer University College, Norway. He is the author of numerous articles in Norwegian and has contributed to the New Zealand and Australian Journal of Criminology. His main areas of research are within welfare sociology, political analysis and social impact assessment.

Bibliographic information


"...provides a compelling insight into understanding differences between the United States and Japanese criminal justice systems" - Canadian Criminal Justice Association