Police Handle Record Number of Stalking Cases in 2023

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The National Police Agency in Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of antistalking law violation cases that led to arrests or other police actions in Japan in 2023 rose 53 from the previous year to a record 1,081, National Police Agency data showed Thursday.

The number of restraining orders issued in 2023 under the law grew 12.6% to a record high of 1,963, topping the number of warnings for the first time.

The number of stalking-related consultation requests received by police across the country climbed 3.7% to 19,843, the figure has remained around 20,000 since 2012.

Penal Code and other law violations, including trespassing and threats, that led to police actions numbered 1,708, up for the fourth consecutive year.

Of the restraining orders, 60% were emergency orders that required no prior hearing from offenders.

Meanwhile, the number of warnings has been on a declining trend and fell 17.9% to 1,534. Behind the fall is a law revision that has made it possible to issue a restraining order with penalties before a warning.

A record 1,747 perpetrators were encouraged to receive treatment and counseling under a program introduced in 2016. Of them, 176 received treatment, while 1,465 refused to do so.

The number of consultation cases on domestic violence by spouses or other partners grew 4.9% to 88,619, up for the 20th consecutive year.

Female and male domestic violence victims numbered 62,444 and 26,175, respectively.

Police took actions in 49 cases in which perpetrators violated protective orders, which prohibited them from approaching their targets.

Of the police-handled 8,636 Penal Code and law violation cases, about 90% involved assaults and injuries.