"How important is rape in Japan to the media?"

Today a story appeared on the Mainichi Online front page: Man arrested for raping woman in western Tokyo. The man has been arrested for a rape that happened in early April and there is the suggestion that he could be the wanted suspect for another attempted rape that happened in mid-May in Tachikawa.

However, even if he is charged for two of rapes, technically he would not be counted as a serial rapist (which is usually three or more), which raises the question—why was this news story chosen over numerous other rapes that happen in Japan? Do the Mainichi reporters know more than they are telling us and suspect him to be a serial rapist? Or with rape cases decreasing in Japan, has this crime become even more important in Japanese society?

Take the UK for example. Home Office statistics state that there were 13,322 reports of rape (of a female) in 2004/2005.

In Japan, according to the National Police Agency, this number is 2,076 for the same year. And this number has decreased to 1,948 (-6.2%) in 2006.

In the UK, a crime such as this would not “merit importance” in a national newspaper, as cases like these are all too frequent. However, with low statistics such as these in Japan, is this report actually a reflection of Japan’s safety?

Mainichi Article:

Other posts by Anna:


Ms. Kitanaka、

Is IMPORTANT really the best word to use here?
I found that a very odd choice of phrase and slightly sickening.



Rather than say "important" is not the right word to use, it would be more constructive to suggest an alternative if the present does not suffice.

Kon - I take your point and agree, it was a bad choice of words. However, if you read the last paragraph of the blog, you will probably notice that by "importance," I am referring to how the media decide what is important or not (in other words, newsworthy or not). Not whether rape is important or not in general - as this obviously goes without saying.

Anyway, I will amend the title to specify it. Thanks for your comment!


According to my observation of Mainichi, it seems that articles related to sex crimes are the most important for Mainichi editors and readers(i.d. English speaking people). i believe you understand what I want to say.

Hi Anna,

Media of Japan do not always treated events equally. But it is also true in other countries.
Then what makes it so?

Here are some hints:
It takes it up on a large scale only for the cases of the U.S.Army and Japanese nationality. For the foreigner who has permanent resident statuses, it is reported very shortly or not reported.

You may consider "who hates the united states and japan" , and count how many reporters of Mainichi News Paper were guilty of rape and their nationality. You already know the number of annual reports of rape, but you should examin more breakdown of the statistics.

It will lead you to the conclusion that 'Mainichi' is NOT really japanese national newspaper.

I'm japanese.

The sex crime Japanese caused is very few.
Japanese woman doesn't like rape.
The sex crime that the Japanese violated is very low.
If you can examine it with other media of Japan, it understands at once.


please go to this site and read it.
mainichi simbun article is almost nonsense...