America's influence and involvement in war has also made it easier for them to be labelled as a somewhat violent country, both Gulf Wars and Vietnam are examples of this. It can also be said that the experiences of war and all the violence that is involved, has desensitised many citizens of the states. After the Second World War Japan was very much a defeated country, their economy was left in ruins. The country at that point was not expected to recover however, Japan experienced a remarkable economic growth and they were able to rebuild.
As the rebuild continued, Japan became more urbanised and heavily populated. As birth rates increased, it was thought that based on theories, crime would also increase, but this was not to be the case. The 'Sex Role Theory' argues that men commit more crimes than women as it is in their biology to do so (Walklate, 2003; p56). This point is also argued by Lombroso and Ferrero (1895) 'Women would commit less crime than men because they have not evolved to the same degree as men and are therefore more primitive…
' This is a contradictory belief by Lombroso and Ferrero as they had previously argued that those whom had a criminal mind, be they male or female were of a primitive nature and that they had not fully evolved and developed to the same degree as the rest of the "normal" society. Particularly after the war, Japanese officials began stronger policing techniques in hope and aim to cut down on the "little" crime that they had and to also to protect their communities.
As a country they had high numbers of police on the streets. The groups of police would work within small communities to be able to familiarise themselves with the local neighbourhoods and families, they would also in pairs visit each house in the community and politely ask questions about anything suspicious or that they thought the police should know about. If there were any information, then the police would decide what and how much further action to take in the matter.
This technique causes the families within the neighbourhood to act as a "neighbourhood watch" team and take an interest in what one another are doing. This method has many advantages along with disadvantages, the main one of which is the invasion of privacy that they would all incur. Also for active criminals who are aware of this practice, they would be increasingly careful as to how much attraction they bought to themselves and their home, or would just find other ways in which to commit the crime.
Small police cabins called koban's are placed closely together to ensure the safety of the community, and also to be sure that when a police officer is needed that it is possible to obtain assistance quickly and efficiently, 'Japanese police through the koban are uniquely in touch with the community they serve' (Aldous, Leishman, 2001, p20) With the kobans and the amount of police "on the beat" the clear up rates for Japan are not surprisingly very high and efficient.
This method of policing, and the way that homes within the community are visited has lessened by a significant amount in recent years. Since the development of towns and cities, the population has grown and so there is not enough time for all the homes to be visited and for a considerable amount of time to be spent with the families.
Reports show that this method of policing originally came from Europe, the koban system was an adaptation which came 'indirectly from Britain, as it is effectively a consolidation of the beat system which originated with the London Metropolitan Police. '(Aldous, Leishman, 2001 p21). In Aldous' and Leishman's article, they express the fact that the Japanese liked this policing technique as 'it was highly centralised, incorporated wide-ranging administrative functions and was overtly political' (2001, p21).
When the police have been successful in apprehending a suspect, reports and video statements show that means by which the police were able to obtain a confession are not of legal means, and it is felt by the suspect that they are often forced into confessing to the crime whether they had truly done it or not. If the suspect has been convicted and given a custodial sentence, the type of prison that they are sent to is more influenced by rehabilitation rather than deterrence and punishment.
Video reports show that prisoners are to undertake recreational tasks such as painting and knitting, and it is also expected for them to attend and in prison schooling system and be educated. In Britain and the United States however, this is a very different story as prisoners are locked in their cell for hours and receive limited leisure time. It is often argued that one of the main reasons for Japan's low crime rate, is due to the shame and the guilt that the criminal will put on to the family and what the consequences are that will follow.
Braithwaite (1989) argues that the Japanese would rather not commit a crime than to put shame onto themselves and especially the family; 'It is more accurate to say that Japanese people conform because they know that conformity will be highly rewarded while the consequences of non conformity are enormously costly' (Nelkin; 1997; p 200) the definition of shaming that Braithwaite uses is 'all social processes of experiencing disapproval which have the intention or effect of invoking remorse in the person being shamed and/or condemnation by others who become aware of he shaming' (Nelkin; 1997; p199).
In the Unites States however, this notion is not strongly expressed and the use of other forms of punishment are used to discipline. Shame within the family, home and culture is not seen or expressed in the same way in different countries; this may be due to the fact that family values and loyalties are more of a Japanese culture trait dating back through their history rather than a "universal" way of living.