Law and order is a subject of competing views in Western counties. Strategies to address the malaise of disorder often come up against the zealous defence of individual liberties. According to criminological textbooks, crime is described as a necessary concomitant of rapid modernization. This has produced policy despair. Japan, however, stands out as seeming to have avoided this dilemma. This book offers a sociocultural analysis of crime in Japan to probe the reasons for Japanese success in achieving relatively crime-free modernization. It offers a novel examination of Japanese society along five analytical dimensions to conclude that it is Japan's 'shame culture' which is the key to its low crime status. This produces strong social bonds that prohibit the self-serving behaviour identified with criminal activity. The author points out that while positive for community and 'the social', Japan's societal attributes do have costs where the object is the pursuit of individual freedom.

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