News / City Life

Tokyo is the world's safest city, once again

Yurakucho-Shinbashi alleway | Time Out Tokyo

Living here and following the daily stream of crime news on TV and Twitter makes it easy to lose perspective, so it's always good to be reminded of how safe a city Tokyo really is.

This time, said reality check comes courtesy of the Economist Intelligence Unit, which released the 2017 version of its global Safe Cities Index last week. And just like in the inaugural 2015 index, our dear capital was ranked number one, beating out 59 other world cities for the title.

Trailing just behind Tokyo were Singapore and Osaka, while the rest of the top ten consisted of Canadian, Australian and European cities (plus Hong Kong in ninth place). The safest American city was San Francisco, coming in at a relatively respectable #15.

Looking at the fine print, the Safe Cities Index is made up of four categories: digital security, health security, infrastructure security and personal security. Tokyo did particularly well in the digital and health security fields, coming in at #1 and #2 respectively in those. The Japanese government's efforts to 'counter cyber threats and protect critical infrastructure' ahead of the 2020 Games scored a special mention.

Tokyo also excelled in the personal security department, ranking fourth in this category. In addition to a low crime rate, the report highlighted a lack of recent terrorist attacks and even the fact that Tokyoites turned in a whopping ¥3.76 billion in lost money last year – around 75 percent of that was later returned to its owners.

The only blemish we can see was Tokyo's drop to #12 in infrastructure security, although the inevitably high risk of natural disasters probably played a part there. All in all, it's always nice to hear you're best in the world at something – and especially so when it's in a field as important as safety.

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