Japan is considered one of the safest countries in the world. In my five months living here, I can attest to that. I have seen people leave their cars running go into a store to do their shopping and come back.
A friend has had her transit card which had no security codes returned to her. Wallets have been returned. You can leave doors open and go out and still come back with everything intact. The list is just endless and there isn`t doubt that it is safe here.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the part that matters the most, the safety of women.
With the rising cases of femicide, rape, and any other kind of violence against females it is only natural to wonder where safety lies. In my personal experience, it has been a breath of fresh air being around males and not having to worry about lewd looks or catcalls.
I can take walks any time of the night and not have to worry about being groped. In the few months I have been here, I have not had any unwarranted looks or that kind of usual nonsense. Or maybe I`m not their type? Well, it could be but whatever the case, this has been the most peace I have felt as a female for as long as I can remember.
When I spent two weeks in Nagoya, I noted that one of their subway lines has carriages for females only, which is absolutely great especially during peak hours. Testimonies from fellow colleagues who have been here longer than I have corroborated with mine. It has been good to be in a safe city.
These are however points of view from a `freshling` in Japan. Recently, I decided to dig into articles talking about the safety of females in Japan, and it`s sad to say that I came across dozens of horror stories regarding that. The idea of utopia was instantly crashed.
The articles go only up to 2018 and there haven`t been any since then but it wouldn`t be prudent to dismiss them.
Don`t get me wrong Japan is great, it`s a lovely country with most of its people kind, helpful and moral towards anyone regardless of race, colour, creed. The downside which is a `major blindspot` as one author put it, is the violence against females.
According to the 2018 articles, it remains one of the most misogynistic countries women aren’t considered at all. A whopping 95% of violent crimes against women aren`t reported. If you hurt a man during self-defence rest assured you will be charged for that. It brings us back to the question;
`Where in the world are women safe?`
Reading the articles and watching some of the youtube videos gave me a twist in my stomach. I have found a place where I can be black, African, and foreign and be safe but what about the female part? Do I have to be on alert again?
I must say the only thing giving me hope is that the articles stopped in 2018. It might be too much to hope for but I hope it`s because there has been a significant change so far. I do hope and dream that one day my sisters and I will be safe from predators in the world, rather than having each day of your life feel like an upcoming episode of criminal minds at the hands of men…