By: Shadia Karina Charouf / Contributing Writer
The Safe Cities Index Report recently published Tokyo, Japan as number one on a list of 10 places, ranking as the safest city to visit in the world in 2019.
Although Tokyo was ranked as the number one safest city in the world as of 2019, what truly makes a city to be considered safe? According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo also topped the list in terms of its digital security, but Singapore was rated higher for infrastructure security and personal security.
In the top 10 safest cities in the world list, there was only one American city in the list: Washington D.C. The list also included four Asian cities, two Australian cities, two European cities, and one Canadian city.
According to Michael Cheng, Interim Dean at FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Washington D.C. is on there because it is our nation’s capital.
“We can expect stronger enforcement. It is almost impossible to buy a gun in Asian countries, but that doesn’t mean violence is less. Crime still happens, but gun fatalities are far less,” said Cheng. “Ultimately, you’re responsible for your own personal safety when you travel, and going to Tokyo or Singapore doesn’t mean you’re never going to get robbed.”
Marcela Lopez Bravo, a current FIU student, is doing her Master’s program abroad in Tokyo, Japan, and has been able to experience the Japanese culture first hand.
“Tokyo is a safe place because you can walk down the street without worrying someone will snatch your phone or bag, people are mindful and respectful of others, rules are respected everywhere,” said Bravo. “For example, if you have a green light to cross the street there will be no cars, buses or even bikes that will try to go before you; they will patiently wait for you to be safe on the other side of the street before advancing. If you drop your wallet somewhere, whomever finds it will return it to the police.”
Bravo also said that Tokyo is a calm place to be in.
“People visiting Tokyo can expect to be blown away by the Japanese attention to detail, their mindfulness of others,: said Bravo. “Even though the city’s hustle and bustle never stops, silence reigns day and night.”
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), Tokyo has an estimate of 2.9 million visitors annually from all around the globe that visit the city to experience the Japanese culture for themselves.