Yesterday was my sister’s birthday, but my family couldn’t celebrate because, on Monday, someone important and very close to her was shot twice somewhere in our city. He died and yesterday was his wake.

When people ask me what I like the most about Japan, one of my answers is always that it’s safe. When I say that, some people from first world countries and some Japanese look at me like safety is a very normal thing and not a very interesting or good reason to like Japan.

But I understand. Those people do not come from a country like mine where people get shot by angry people or thieves or, nowadays, the police; where you have to hold your close to your chest every time you go to a crowded place; and where it’s dangerous for a woman to ride a taxi alone, especially at night.

It is safe here. At night, after work, I can walk home without keeping a weapon in my pocket. I can take out and use my phone in a bus without being scared that someone will steal it. I can travel to another place for a few days without asking someone to stay in my apartment to make sure no one will come in and steal anything.

I feel lucky because it’s safe here, but I also feel frustrated and angry because I want the same thing for the people in my country and the people I care about.