Tag Archives: Asia

Criminal justice system in Japans: effective but chilling to Westerners

How different is the criminal justice system in Japan if compared to the ones in the Western World? Japanese culture and history have produced a completely different justice system, with exceptional results and means difficult to accept or understand for Westerners.

I’ve recently stumbled upon an article about “crime and punishment” in Japan. Its title can be translated in “Japan, lights and shadows of Justice. The most frequent crime is bike theft.”

I found the article extremely interesting because it highlights how different Japanese law enforcement system is from the ones in the western world.

The article, authored by a European journalist who has been living in Japan for a couple decades, begins by listing facts and figures about crime in Japan.

Japan law, crime, jail, courts

  • Japan is the country with the lowest crime level among the countries belonging to G20
  • Japan has 54 inmates every 100,000 citizens (US: 700)
  • Japanese citizens who are victim of at least one crime over one year are 16% (US: 39%)
  • Risk of being robbed in Tokyo is 80 times lower than in New York City
  • Risk of being assaulted in Tokyo is 200 times lower than in NYC
  • Risk of being raped in Tokyo is 700 times lower than in NYC
  • Risk of being killed in Tokyo is 2,000 times lower than in NYC

However, such stellar results don’t come without a price.

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Corruption in the world: Where can I move to find less corruption?

Corruption in everyday life

Living with corruption in your everyday life

Our hero approaches the driving school manager and hands him money. It’s a whole by-weekly salary for him.

It’s not a payment, it’s bribery. The manager will hand-over that money to the examiner (of course after retaining a percentage of it). It’s nothing unusual around there. Everybody does that.

But this time the manager seems to be unexpectedly reluctant. After hesitating for a second he says: “I’m sorry, but I know your father is a policeman. It’s too dangerous. I will take nothing from you.”

That day our hero was the only one to fail road test.

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Where to find the fastest trains in service in the world?

A French TGV in Europe

A French TGV in Europe – 200 mph

With bright announcements, governments and engineering companies let us know that they have the fastest trains in the world.

The Chinese told the world that they have a train that can reach 245 MPH; Italy has just presented one which will run at 250 MPH; the Japanese feature a futuristic magnetic levitation train topping at 361 MPH.

All these trains exist, they have actually reached such speeds, but they all also share the same downside: you can’t buy a ticket and enjoy a ride at their rated speed.

The reasons are that either their normal service speed is lower, or those trains are not in service at all (or at least not yet).

Therefore, if you are in Europe, you will hardly find a train with a normal service top speed higher than 200 mph (Italy will follow with 225 mph next year), with similar top speeds in China and Japan. China even reduced its fastest trains’ top speed from 220 mph to 186 mph after an accident in 2011.

The main reason behind such discrepancies between train top speed and service speed is given by railway networks, which set a limit for speed, regardless of the train going through them.

While running at 200 mph or faster is still awesome, one could wonder which the fastest train in normal service is.

Well, there is one which reaches 267 mph in normal service already.

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Ancient China

During my recent brief trip to China, I had a chance to visit an old village. That told me much more about China, its culture and habits, than the big city where I used to stay most of the time.

You can find a lot of those typical villages, just by getting no more than a few miles into the countryside. A western driving license is usually not valid to drive on Chinese territory, but luckily enough, I knew some Chinese fellas willing to show me how their country looked like until not long ago.

Theater drama on village’s main square.

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