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Community Rising Stars: Machiko Yamamoto


 While I was studying in the university, I realized that there was an increasing number of atrocious crimes reported in Japan and they connected to the information I was learning in the classes I was taking...

 Machinko Yamamoto Machiko Yamamoto

Forensics Science Program Helps Prepare Aspiring Japanese Criminalist for her Country's Safe Future

Machiko Yamamoto, only 25, is wise beyond her years. After all, her Kanji symbol (智) stands for wisdom.

Yamamoto possesses a prescient awareness of the potential future trends in her native country, Japan: that of an increasing crime wave that may not ebb. Japan, which prides itself on collective cooperation and a crime rate that other countries would envy, is now suffering the woes of increasing industrialization and a deterioration of its respected community values. Japan has witnessed a 150 percent upsurge in crime during the past 10 years, which forensic professionals and the general public have not been professionally braced to handle, according to a recent article in Asian Times Online.

For years, Japan has been blessed with a lower than average international crime rate. Some of that is due to the country's laws. Guns are forbidden. Society, as a collective, is valued. But the tide is turning. Increasing workplace competition leaves fewer parents at home to tend to their children and the philosophy that a society is greater than the sum of its parts is slowly disintegrating.

While I was studying in the university, I realized that there was an increasing number of atrocious crimes reported in Japan and they connected to the information I was learning in the classes I was taking, said Yamamoto, who was studying psychology and sociology at Toyo Eiwa University in Yokohama. Through some class assignments, I have found many similarities between the crimes committed in Japan and the U.S.

My continued research on these topics has greatly stimulated me to want to learn more about Crime Intelligence Analysis, Yamamoto said. "Unfortunately, there are virtually no educational institutions specializing in sociology and psychology in connection with crimes in Japan. We are behind the times when it comes to forensic science. UCR Extension is the ideal place for me to achieve my career goals. Applying what I learn at your school's program will surely make me a fine investigator in Japan.

When Yamamoto returns to Japan this fall, she will have earned two UCR Extension certificates - one in Crime Scene Investigation and the second in Crime Intelligence and Analysis. She is also taking online courses in the Sexual Assault Examination Training: Adult/Adolescent Program.

Yamamoto intends to share her newfound knowledge in her next job, working as an assistant to one of the topmost forensic experts in Japan, Yoshinobu Sato, in the Department of Legal Medicine at Kyorin University in Tokyo.

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