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Local Young Arrested at Twice National Rate

Date Posted: 2000-10-21

Youngsters in Okinawa get themselves in trouble with the police more frequently than their counterparts in the rest of the country, according to statistics publishes by the Okinawa Prefecture Police. A total of 27,300 minors were arrested in Okinawa last year. The arrest rate for minors in Okinawa is about double the national average.

Officials blame the high figures on the Okinawan habit of staying out late at night and have for years urged parents to change their lifestyles to allow more time for families to stay together. However, by anyone’s observations the pleas have largely fallen to deaf ears, as convenience stores and other facilities staying open 24-hours a day have multiplied.

The police say that the statistics are rather getting worse than improving. For example, they say that 80 percent of underage girls who run away from their home are engaged in prostitution. Offenders are also getting younger. They cite a case where a 16-year old boy was found working in a host club.

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