I used to work teaching English at Smith’s School of English Fukushima-ku, while I was on my working holiday here in Japan. These days I still love to spend time hanging around Fukushima-ku and with the students at Smith’s. While chatting with some students in English we arrived at the conclusion that by comparison with many other countries Japan is a very safe place to live.
Imagine, unsupervised small kids can walk to school and after school activities including English Conversation classes safely; even in big cities such as Tokyo they take the subway and run errands by themselves. Japan has a very low crime rate, which is surely a key reason parents feel confident about sending their kids out alone. Furthermore, although Japan is densely populated there still exists a very strong village-style support system. The children move in groups and we know many adult eyes are watching out for their safety. Parents offer their children great independence and freedom. By giving them this freedom, parents are placing significant trust not only in their kids, but in the whole community. Japanese kids learn early that, ideally, any member of the community can be called on to serve or help others. This ethic extends to public spaces, such as the vicinity of Smith’s School of English Fukushima where you can see small kids on their way back home after school.
Recently some countries are debating gun laws. Here in Japan armoured cars don’t carry guns. Moreover, banks employ part-time, often retired, people to help out in the lobbies of the banks. These people may greet customers and help vet their needs as they come in or they may help customers use the functions of bank ATMs. They’re also alert to potential suspicious activity.
In Japan, young women can happily walk around at night in comparison with others countries where this is considered a dangerous move. You still need to be careful, however the chance of being approached or harassed by a stranger while walking home at night is very low.
Students at Smith’s School of English Fukushima consider Japan one of the safest countries in the world. And you?
Smith’s School of English Fukushima.