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TOKYO — Crime in Japan rose by 3.1 percent last year, according to a Justice Ministry reportthat claimed the nation suffered a record 3.69 million criminal acts in 2002.

The report attributed the increase to crimes by juveniles and organized gangs. Also, the report said, “Robberies perpetrated by foreigners became increasingly organized. … The situation needs to be carefully monitored because Japanese people are increasingly becoming the victims of criminal acts by foreigners.”

The number of crimes reported in Japan has risen steadily over the past seven years, and police continue to make arrests in only about 20 percent of cases, the report said.

The rate of solved cases, which soared to more than 60 percent in the late 1980s, dropped to 20.8 percent in 2002, a slight improvement over the 19.8 percent solved rate in 2001.

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