January 18, 2022

Theft crime is a type of crime that prohibits the intentional removal or unauthorized use of another person's property. Those who violate and commit theft will be punished by punishment.

General theft


Historically, it is ethically and morally antisocial behavior, and in a society that has the concept of possession in some sense, it is a typical crime type along with murder and rape. Since it is a crime that everyone tends to commit, there are many cases of punishment and legislation that face heavy punishment such as physical sentence and long-term free sentence compared to the ease of action.

About theft crimes before modern times

Legislative examples from other countries

Theft was a felony more than robbery in medieval Europe. The reason is that robbery is cowardly because it can be carried out secretly, while robbery can be repelled because it commits a crime openly (→ self-help).

History of theft punishment in Japan

Edo period

In the Edo period, theft was severely punished, so it is known that the number of thefts was extremely low. The fifty-sixth "thief punishment" of the Kujikata Osadamegaki (100 articles of the decree), which played the role of the criminal code at that time, is what is now called "robbery," "theft," and "lost. Although the equivalents of "embezzlement" and "involvement in stolen goods" are stipulated, the following articles can be seen by extracting the current crimes of theft (read as appropriate). He sneaks into his wife or breaks the storehouse and is guilty of death regardless of the amount of gold and other miscellaneous items. However, regardless of day or night, there is a place to open the door, or because there are no people in the house, there is this at hand. It is the death penalty to invade the house or break the key of the dozo and commit the theft. However, if the door is loosely closed or you are away from home and theft is light, you will be commuted. Suddenly stealing the items in hand, Kaneko is more than 10 cars in the price, miscellaneous items are more than 10 cars in the price, and death is guilty. Tattoo The famous "If you steal ten cars, you will be guilty of death" clause. Lightly stolen caned person tattooed once and lightly stolen Minor theft and recidivism rules.

Old Penal Code

According to the old criminal law enacted in 1880 (Meiji 13 Daijo-kan's Declaration No. 36), simple theft is a misdemeanor of heavy imprisonment for 2 months or more and 4 years or less (Article 366). Weighted provisions have been established for accomplices and carrying weapons.

Theft crime under the current criminal law in Japan

Theft crime under the current criminal law in Japan is a crime stipulated in Article 235 of the Penal Code, which involves stealing the property of another person.


It is usual to explain that "theft" means "secretly stealing" in Japanese dictionaries and the like. However, doing so would not include cases of open stealing (eg snatching). For this reason, another crime was committed in China, but in Japan, snatching is traditionally included in theft. In the current criminal law enacted in the Meiji era, the word "theft" is used in the text, which means that the property owned by another person is transferred to the possession of oneself or a third party against the will of the possessor. It is understood to be. Therefore, it is not necessary for the possession transfer act to be carried out without being noticed by others, and it may be carried out openly. However, "snatch theft" is a crime of robbery depending on the degree of assault.

Protection Law Benefits

Goods for the protection of theft crimes

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