Under the UNESCO/Japan research fellowship programme, I took part in a three-month research project at the International University of Japan in the first quarter of the financial year 2013-14. During this period, I carried out my research work on the topic “Information technology and prevention of crime – a comparative and analytical study of India and Japan”. To collect the primary data, an interview schedule was prepared incorporating respondents of varying ages and occupations using a purposive stratified random sample technique. Questions were asked regarding instigating crime factors in society, the role of information technology, its impact on crime and its crime-prevention uses for police. Suggestions were sought from respondents to make the administrative machinery, particular police machinery, more effective and efficient. Niigata Prefecture Head office was also visited to obtain reports and other relevant official data in relation to the study, and direct interviews were held with Head Office personnel.
The primary data were collected through the schedule interviews and direct conversations with interviewees. Matters discussed with them included the problem of crime in Japan, focusing mainly on information technology and its impact. Required interview schedules were also filled from ordinary people, including the persons mentioned above. Ideas were effectively communicated, with the help of a translator, and the research work was done successfully. To make the study more comfortable and easy I also took the Japanese language course at the university, which helped me to communicate effectively with the local people and get in-depth information regarding my studies.
On 12 June 2013, from 1.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m., I delivered a special lecture based on my studies, entitled “Crime Prevention Strategies in Japan”, at IUJ, Japan. Many scholars from the IUJ including Director Professor T. Sinoda and Prof. N.S. Cooray attended this presentation, in which I discussed the Japanese strategies which had worked successfully in the past decade, when the crime rate had started to decline – it has continued to decrease to date. I also suggested how other countries might benefit from the Japanese experience. A working research paper was also prepared and posted at the IUJ website for comments from other scholars, and is likely to be published in the reputed journal.
The detailed results of the study have helped to identify factors responsible for increasing crime rates and to understand how information technology affects increases in crime as well as its containment. It is commendable that countries can learn from each other in the field of crime prevention, particularly from Japan, which has a successful history regarding crime control over the past decade. This visit has also helped in pursuing study in depth for the future regarding crime prevention and making society crime-resistant in the present global context.
Lastly, I am very thankful to the President of IUJ, Director of the International Research Institute Prof. T. Sinoda, and to Professor N.S. Cooray, who gave me an opportunity to join their prestigious university and work with eminent scholars overseas. I am also very thankful to all the office staff, who not only provided every facility essential for data collection, including work space, a library attendant and local conveyances, but also made me feel comfortable.
23 January 2014.