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'Hostage justice?' Japan fights back with an internet FAQ

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Saikawa is not in jail though. Here endth the lesson

64 ( +69 / -5 )

So, you get to shower twice a week? Barbaric, Japan! Barbaric.

53 ( +60 / -7 )

 "The rooms are structured so as to allow sufficient natural light"

A pile of obfuscation. "Natural light" isn't the point. It's about sleep deprivation, caused by strong lights being switched on around the clock in small cells, and how people are more willing to say what is required to end such awful conditions aimed at taking a physical and mental toll on inmates.

73 ( +77 / -4 )

What a joke.

54 ( +60 / -6 )

So their response to the criticism is simply: "No we don't do that."

Their answers just make the detention centers seem more fishy. Inmates are only allowed to shower twice a week? Why does the detention centers sound like they are in jail already? Where is the presumption of innocence?

58 ( +64 / -6 )

If they really think this is going to work in changing opinions, I have a nice bridge I'd like to sell the MOJ. Trust me, I can write 3,000 words about it too. Low interest payments, reasonable terms!

43 ( +47 / -4 )

"Japanese detention centers maintain detention rooms appropriately ...

according to whose standards?

The rooms are structured so as to allow sufficient natural light and ensure good airflow," the Ministry said on its website. "Access to bathing is granted to detainees at least twice a week in order to keep them in good health.

I'd like to see Masako Mori detained and allowed 2 showers a week for a few months and then ask her if she thinks what the "justice system" does is ok.

A pile of obfuscation. "Natural light" isn't the point. It's about sleep deprivation, caused by strong lights being switched on around the clock in small cells, and how people are more willing to say what is required to end such awful conditions aimed at taking a physical and mental toll on inmates.

exactly!

"To the contrary, the Japanese criminal justice system does not force confessions by unduly holding suspects and defendants in custody. It is therefore not accurate at all to criticize the system as being a 'hostage justice' system," it said.

Then explain Carlos, Scott McIntyre, and Greg Kelly.

"In Japan, there are strict requirements and procedures stipulated in law with regard to holding suspects and defendants in custody, with due consideration given to the guarantee of human rights."

The key is that the requirements and procedures are based on Japanese standards which as we know are less than sufficient.

In its global report this month, Human Rights Watch criticized what it called Japan's "'hostage' justice system."

> "Criminal suspects are held for long periods in harsh conditions to coerce a confession," it said, adding that the situation received renewed attention after Ghosn's arrest.

What would be extremely efficient is for Human Rights Watch to label Japan as a country which is lacking in Human Rights and not count it as one of the advanced nations which adheres to international standards of human rights.

That would shame them into action.

39 ( +44 / -5 )

To the contrary, the Japanese criminal justice system does not force confessions by unduly holding suspects and defendants in custody. It is therefore not accurate at all to criticize the system as being a 'hostage justice' system,

This statement is true. The system isn't designed to force your confession. It's designed to break you. From that point, it is up to the prosecutors what they decide to do with broken people. The system indiscriminately breaks those that are innocent or guilty.

49 ( +53 / -4 )

"To the contrary, the Japanese criminal justice system does not force confessions by unduly holding suspects and defendants in custody. It is therefore not accurate at all to criticize the system as being a 'hostage justice' system," it said.

This paragraph is a load of contrived BS! We can use the Ghosn case as an example of how untrue the above statement is. He was interrogated for up to 8 hours daily. He was threatened with, "Confess or things will get worse." They then punished him by keeping him in solitary confinement, disallowing him any contact with the outside world with no internet or media and banned him from any contact with his family. And, he was only permitted to bathe once a week. This is totally contrary to the above statement. If this statement is untrue, it is logical to conclude the rest of the Q & A is also a load of defensive BS!

45 ( +47 / -2 )

"Hostage Justice" on the defensive.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

Years ago when I was living in Sapporo, I observed this kind of treatment directly. I stood in for a friend, interpreting for a foreign detainee who didn't speak Japanese. He had been held in solitary confinement for several months, interrogated for hours on end, in conditions described above. He had been staying in a friend's apartment when there was a raid and the police had found drugs. He maintained that he didn't know about the drugs and that it was nothing to do with him. They were trying to get a confession out of him.

The guy was in a terrible state, jumping at the slightest sound. He was one step away from being a gibbering idiot.

50 ( +55 / -5 )

Hostage justice FAQ = window dressing.

You can lie through omission and that's obviously what they've done in their answers. There are far too many cases of abused detainees giving a totally different story for it to be otherwise with Ghosn being only the most glaring example. Fools!

28 ( +32 / -4 )

Unfortunately, Japan’s Ministry of Justice is defending its troubled system instead of implementing improvements.

44 ( +47 / -3 )

Questioning sessions should have a lawyer for the alleged criminal present, should be no longer than 2 hrs with 30 min breaks and not last more than 8 hrs in any 24 hour period.

There appears to be a right to be silent, but the investigators will keep asking questions. The right to a lawyer is only for the trial. So, when the defendant is eventually brought into a court, they get to see their attorney - after months without one? Barbaric.

And if there aren't any formal charges for a criminal offense within 48 hours, the alleged criminal should be released. In Japan, it seems they can hold you for 23 days without any charges. Barbaric.

37 ( +38 / -1 )

I like to recount this story when I read articles like this. Our family experienced Japanese Justice first hand. My step-son was incarcerated for more than 2 weeks, and subjected to multiple interrogations and drug test (all of which were negative) simply because someone else in trouble mentioned his name. We had to hire a lawyer and threaten to sue just to get him released.

41 ( +43 / -2 )

Let's look at the other case mentioned in the article. This guy was locked up for three months until he confessed to trespassing while trying to find his kids. He was also interrogated daily and forced to confess with threats of continued incarceration until he confessed. Whether or not he is actually guilty of the charge still remains to be determined. Now, due to his incarceration and forced confession he has a criminal record in Japan. There are many other cases of forced and false confessions in Japan that have recently hit the news. Some of them involve being imprisoned for decades until DNA or other evidence have proven the admission to be forced. Yes, Ghosn is a well publicised case of Japan's hostage justice system and extended incarceration to force a confession, but it is only one of many.

35 ( +39 / -4 )

Since the majority of people here will agree with them it won’t be a big issue here I feel.

Everyone is used to corporate and white collar corruption and that outsiders or average citizen are treated totally differently.

But since rules, order, and the group are more important than human rights, individuality, etc, squat will occur from this.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Without any reference to the laws the MOJ are following in their FAQ, the FAQ is nothing but an opinion. Facts can be backed up with references so others can understand the information is not just someone's opinion. The MOJ needs to show it is following international standards of law as the government has agreed, not their personal opinion.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

I may be being picky, but the twice a week shower answer is a lie.

Ghosn said it was every five days, so did Scott McIntyre. It’s every five days.

I don’t know why they answered that’s its twice a week unless officially it “can be” twice a week.

but in detention - before sentencing. It’s every five days.

The only good thing is that you don’t do anything except read and talk and sleep so you don’t get that dirty.

everyone loves bath day though.

29 ( +32 / -3 )

And as I expected rather than logically try to improve this side of their system they take it personally and become stubborn to the point to try to defend something that can’t be defended.

The western civilized world spotted now the inhuman system applied against the detainees.

And simply the statement that consent just two showers a week,especially in the hot and humid summer is a torture already.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

And the MOiJ proves that they are utterly BARBARIC and have no shame.

22 ( +25 / -3 )

Even if the related laws support the MOJ rebuttals, what is actually practiced, as attested to by arrested people, is what counts.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

I suspect that once the police have arrested someone and put them in custody they're scared of losing face with their superiors if they can't actually charge them with something. A confession is much less embarrassing.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Save face defense comments from the Justice ministry. Clearly violates human rights. When will japan change in this area of “hostage justice” with other advanced nations?

19 ( +22 / -3 )

How can they not see they're only making things worse? Who's signing off on these decisions?

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Hervé L'EisaToday  08:28 am JST

And the MOiJ proves that they are utterly BARBARIC and have no shame.

Well, they've let it go on for decades and it's institutionalised, not just a few isolated abuses. I think they're too scared to admit that anything is wrong, because then there will be very awkward questions as to why generations of politicians and officials have done nothing about it.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Having read through most of the FAQ, this is nothing more than Orwellian Newspeak. The MOJ must be consulting with the Chinese Justice Ministry for propaganda tips

21 ( +24 / -3 )

The faq is like a fat person saying "you can't call me fat because that statement is not accurate"

20 ( +23 / -3 )

When reading this faq, word comes to mind. わがまま。

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Someone in seniority at the MOJ was stung by the criticisms and ordered subordinates to deal with the hostage justice system.

After much brainstorming they had an epiphany: “Lets make a list!” one yelled.

”And put it on signs and posters!” Another enthusiastically blurted out.

”And on the website too!” said a third.

”Problem solved!” They all cried in unison, exchanging a group high five.

”You know what this means?” the most senior one in the room asked with a wry grin before they all knowingly shouted in response “Black suit and white shirt shopping trip!”

And, hand in hand, they all marched out to their local Suits Aoyama to celebrate their victory.

Thus was the problem of Japan’s hostage system finally resolved.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

For those idealists here that have NOT actually seen or experienced the actual system, it is totally unreasonable for those negative comments.

I have attended many trials here for many different crimes and actually interpreted for some police officers in their effort to communicate with foreigners in English. I have not seen the facilities used for confinement, but have talked to some inmates that expressed no harsh treatment but somewhat tight time management due to set schedules for everything and every activity, which allows for proper "control" of the environment and assure safety and security.

Apparently some policies and procedures are different at different facilities, but those for foreigners are no different than those for local citizens. However, it is a detention center, a prison of sort, so one cannot expect to live as if confined to a home or an apartment. One is placed there for a reason.

That reason is determined by laws and not at the whim of any individual. When one commits a crime in a any country, one must abide by such laws .

Ther have been many famous and not so famous people from government officials to corporate officers and out right crazy people jailed here in Japan, but none has made such ridiculous claims.

-41 ( +5 / -46 )

"Access to bathing is granted to detainees at least twice a week in order to keep them in good health."

This no-bathing thing is the most barbaric of all.

You would think that for people who are presumed to be guilty and who are being forced to confess, excessive cleanliness would be required, as a part of the process of spiritual cleansing that they claim confessing is a part of.

Instead, detainees (who have not been convicted of anything!) are required to be filthy. They're not doing physical labor, but they're going to be sweating eight hours a day as they are interrogated. AFAIK, they don't even get to change into a fresh set of clothes every day. I can only conclude that they are forcing detainees to be dirty because they want them to feel that they are dirty on the inside as well.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

I think the Ministry of Justice has done a great job with this. It's brilliant satire (they should really be called the Ministry of Jestice). They're pretty bad at this justice thing, sure, but their jokes hits the spot.

23 ( +26 / -3 )

I love Japan and I always defend japan when they are accused wrongly on issues. But this is one area where Japan is clearly in the wrong. The justice system in Japan isn’t built to get offenders off the streets, it’s built to find an offender regardless of guilt so they can make the populace feel that they are safe. It’s also built to scare the people into compliance. There is little “just” about it.

This FAQ is a joke. They are stupid if they think we’re going to suddenly think that the abuse of citizen rights is alright after reading it.

The Japanese system of justice is a joke.

33 ( +37 / -4 )

All these are futile discussions. The japanese legal systems and practices will never change. Now that Ghosn is out of the clutches of this barbaric system, there could be an out of the court settlement to prevent further emabarassment to both the parties on this high profile case. Nevertheless, I really feel for the innocent victims of this system over the years though, especially after the revealations made by Ghosn during the press conference. Justice delayed is justice denied.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

I am thankful that Ghosn was so high profile that he exposed the joke of a justice system in Japan with his escape. If he had been a normal citizen, the world would not have realized that Japan does not have a properly functioning justice system. Ghosn exposed them.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

justice

"fairness in the way people are dealt with"

"Fair behaviour and the quality of being fair and reasonable"

"the upholding of what is fair, just, and right"

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I can say with confidence that I would break right quick under such conditions.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

better to just stop, more they tried, worse they looked.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Their FAQ reads like a fake booking.com review.

Good job.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

"...awkward questions as to why generations of politicians and officials have done nothing about it."

My guess is that Japan's hostage "justice" system is of no personal concern to those politicians and officials. They never have to worry about being put in substitute prisons if they commit ordinary crimes like bribery.

Why?

Well, there is a ritual you do if you have been busted for bribery or misappropriation of funds (otherwise known as theft). You publicly apologize and make a deep bow to show contrition. You forsake whatever you got illegally and you give up whatever position you held.

There is no ritual for trespassing, particularly if you are a foreigner. So you get 44 days of hostage "justice."

Japanese in power seem to have an invisible "Get Out of Jail Free Card." Hence, "generations of politicians and officials have done nothing about it," the evil hostage "justice" system.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I hate to say it.... but it definitely affects the way I handle dealing with things in Public in Japan. I go out of my way to make sure that everything I do cannot be construed as being illegal. On dark sidewalks at night if there is a Female walking nearby.... I do not try to pass her, since I walk pretty quickly, I wait until a streetlight or until she turns to go elsewhere. I am extra careful.... why? Because I never, ever want to deal with the Japanese "Justice", system. It is totally stacked against everyone and possibly more so foreigners.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

This FAQ is a disaster and every answer that they provide is something that has a mountain of experience and evidence refuting their points if you were to spend 10 seconds doing basic research.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

@Strangerland;

"I love Japan and I always defend japan when they are accused wrongly on issues. But this is one area where Japan is clearly in the wrong."

I fully agree with what you said and the rest of your post. There is so much wrong with the way this case was handled (and I personally think Ghosn likely did some unethical and possibly illegal things).

If they are so sure Ghosn is guilty then have a trial. My personal opinion is there are some powerful people who are afraid of what might be revealed during such a trial and the best that can be hoped for is for this to just go away.

I am not surprised to see Japan digging in its heels on this. This system will never change as a result of external criticism or criticism by non Japanese (even those of us living here permanently). For this to change it would require the Japanese citizenry to demand a change (which is unlikely).

I also love Japan but the one thing I have realized is many Japanese (not all) take any criticism of Japan personally. I understand the cultural reasons for this. On the other hand I come from a country where I am used to people criticizing our country, government, President, etc.

Also, as with the first post on this thread....the fact that no charges have been brought against Saikawa (or the other Japanese executives who would have to be a part of the decision to not declare future compensation) speaks volumes and we foreigners choosing to live here need to clearly understand what is going on (as well as what happened to Michael Woodward at Olympus. I have no illusions about this but I choose to remain in Japan.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

SaikoPhyscoToday:  

I hate to say it.... but it definitely affects the way I handle dealing with things in Public in Japan. I go out of my way to make sure that everything I do cannot be construed as being illegal. On dark sidewalks at night if there is a Female walking nearby.... I do not try to pass her, since I walk pretty quickly, I wait until a streetlight or until she turns to go elsewhere. I am extra careful.... why? Because I never, ever want to deal with the Japanese "Justice", system. It is totally stacked against everyone and possibly more so foreigners.

I hear ya..

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Damn bastards! Things in the “justice system” of Japan have to change ! This is NOT humane.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The Ministry needs to realize that the image of Japan gets worse when people read their feeble attempts to justify the hostage system.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I think this statement speaks volumes. It says rather more than the authors intended it to say, methinks.

Why are lawyers not allowed to be present during the interrogation of suspects?

...if lawyers’ attendance during interrogation were to be granted, it would make it difficult to discover the truth of the case due to the difficulty of obtaining sufficient statements from the suspects, which would significantly undermine the function of interrogation.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Hey Masako Mori, we don't believe you. History has shown how unfair your justice is. If you really want to improve Japan's image, then quit denying there is no problem. Just fix it!

17 ( +19 / -2 )

So, you get to shower twice a week? Barbaric, Japan! Barbaric.

Not true! You get a shower once every 5 days. That means possibly some weeks will have two showers.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Death by a thousand cuts. Individually the conditions are just about OK. But when combined, 24 hour lights, limited bathing, limited enrichment (TV, contact with family, freedom) and no end in sight . . . .

10 ( +12 / -2 )

And as I expected rather than logically try to improve this side of their system they take it personally and become stubborn to the point to try to defend something that can’t be defended.

The way to deal with these Asian people it seems is to simply praise their system. You’ve got to lay it on thick. Heaps of praises. Say Japan probably has the best system in the world.

Then gently ask whether or not there has been changes in the past and what areas might they be thinking of changing. After they answer, say, no that’s not necessary and that it’s good the way it is. Then they’ll disagree with you and say that it actually needs changing.

Let them realize themselves the need for change. They don’t like to be told, especially by outsiders, of the need to change.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

@BertieWooster

a foreign detainee who didn't speak Japanese. He had been held in solitary confinement for several months, interrogated for hours on end, in conditions described above. He had been staying in a friend's apartment when there was a raid and the police had found drugs. He maintained that he didn't know about the drugs and that it was nothing to do with him. They were trying to get a confession out of him. The guy was in a terrible state, jumping at the slightest sound. He was one step away from being a gibbering idiot.

@sensei258

I like to recount this story when I read articles like this. Our family experienced Japanese Justice first hand. My step-son was incarcerated for more than 2 weeks, and subjected to multiple interrogations and drug test (all of which were negative) simply because someone else in trouble mentioned his name. We had to hire a lawyer and threaten to sue just to get him released.

You should proud with your step-son, he doesn't do drug and he doesn't break to coerced confession. They don't care his test result, they only care to get as many people to be convicted even they know what's going on. Unfortunately your son is one of them. 

Both count from BertieWooster and sensei258 are similar like recent case of Marc Cavazos' case where he assert he is innocent up until his verdict.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Here's a nice one from the ministry's website:

if lawyers’ attendance during interrogation were to be granted, it would make it difficult to discover the truth of the case due to the difficulty of obtaining sufficient statements from the suspects, which would significantly undermine the function of interrogation.

= easier to coerce a confession

And this one:

crime victims or the Japanese people, who strongly demand that the truth of a case be discovered.

= trial by public opinion (through the media)

By the way, Masako Mori, why are diet members Katsuyuki Kawai, Anri Kawai, Isshu Sugawara, Tsukasa Akimoto, Toshimitsu Funahashi, and Mikio Shimoji not in the Tokyo Detention Center? Surely the crimes they are suspected of committing are "grave".

Deeply regrettable.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

We can use the Ghosn case as an example of how untrue the above statement is. He was interrogated for up to 8 hours daily. He was threatened with, "Confess or things will get worse." They then punished him by keeping him in solitary confinement, disallowing him any contact with the outside world with no internet or media and banned him from any contact with his family. And, he was only permitted to bathe once a week. This is totally contrary to the above statement. If this statement is untrue, it is logical to conclude the rest of the Q & A is also a load of defensive BS!

 8 hours even more, Ghosn's Lawyer, Takano put Ghosn interrogation detail in his blog post.

http://blog.livedoor.jp/plltakano/archives/65953931.html

Scott McIntyre detention condition is being described

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/19/former-sbs-reporter-scott-mcintyre-arrested-in-japan-reportedly-over-search-for-his-children

8 ( +10 / -2 )

the more than 99 percent conviction rate says so ,so much

8 ( +11 / -3 )

@kazetsukai

However, it is a detention center, a prison of sort, so one cannot expect to live as if confined to a home or an apartment. One is placed there for a reason.

Reason? Some innocent people end up there because outdated system, where people need prove their innocent as mentioned by MOJ.

That reason is determined by laws and not at the whim of any individual. When one commits a crime in a any country, one must abide by such laws .

If there were being red handed being caught in act, won't argue about there kind of case. But there are cases where innocent people even have no clue charge brought against them, all they got is constant coerced confession during detention.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

BertieWoosterToday  07:28 am JST

Years ago when I was living in Sapporo, I observed this kind of treatment directly. I stood in for a friend, interpreting for a foreign detainee who didn't speak Japanese. He had been held in solitary confinement for several months, interrogated for hours on end, in conditions described above. He had been staying in a friend's apartment when there was a raid and the police had found drugs. He maintained that he didn't know about the drugs and that it was nothing to do with him. They were trying to get a confession out of him.

The guy was in a terrible state, jumping at the slightest sound. He was one step away from being a gibbering idiot.

what s happened to him at the end?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

They should call it "abduction until confession", or maybe "hostage until trial".

15 ( +15 / -0 )

@Akie

if you are not sure, then don't charge and don't accuse and don't assume, OK ?

That's not the case in Japan. Just check Kelly Luce's case where she was being accused for committing a crime in Kawasaki Kmart where she didn't do at all.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

OK, read the link. I don't understand why they even made the attempt. Did nobody tell them that claiming they adhered with the law or just claiming to be good is preaching to the choir. The only time they tried to engage a point is in Q7, when they explained why the lawyer is not permitted - you might not like the way things rolled but at least they engaged it. And that was it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Maybe they should just stop arresting foreigners, if they cause the system so much trouble. Why can't they learn Japanese ways, and just confess the way good Japanese hostages do?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

In Japan, it is the prosecutors who decide whether or not to bring an indictment. According to the most recent statistics, the indictment rate is 37% (a figure obtained by dividing the number of indicted persons by the total number of indicted persons and non-indicted persons in all suspected criminal cases). The “conviction rate of more than 99%” represents the proportion of convicted persons divided by the number of indicted persons, i.e. those within the 37% rate mentioned above.

 In order to avoid imposing an undue burden on innocent people for being involved in a trial, prosecutors, in practice, bring indictments only if there is a high probability of obtaining a conviction based on adequate evidence.

 It is therefore fair to assume that the high conviction rate is a reflection of such practices.

=Guilty until proven innocent.

This faq is a failed attempt at propaganda. How deep will they dig their hole?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Reading it ...

..... well, it could be called a new fairy tail.

They really couldn't come up with anything better defending their screwed up (in-)justice system, I guess.

At least a lawyer should be allowed at any given time!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

One of my British IT exec friends was detained after a thug attacked him, interrogated round the clock, given a futon to sleep but in the wee hours suddenly police removed it made him stand not touching walls, made him clean toilets bare handed, after 23 days he paid the thug 1.6 mil JPY to get out of jail, compare this to the Japanese thug who assaulted me in public as I walked home and drove away hoping he was not seen, but he was by adult Japanese witnesses. Meguro police did not detain him even a single night, failed all basis due process procedures, said their 2 cameras 'broke' so could not photograph my extensive injuries or him, failed collect or write about evidence, failed to record eyewitness testimony, refused to contact my japanese nurse wife, refused to give me an interpreter I speak but don't read plus my eyeglasses were destroyed in the assault, refused to record any of my statements in their report, there is more integrity and honesty in my fecal than the entire NPA prosecutor and courts.

25 ( +28 / -3 )

What they say and what they do are totally different things.... just like Japan's response to the Hague convention.... the list goes on.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

"Japanese detention centers maintain detention rooms appropriately ... The rooms are structured so as to allow sufficient natural light and ensure good airflow," the Ministry said on its website. "Access to bathing is granted to detainees at least twice a week in order to keep them in good health."

Then how come a number of detainees have died, have been deprived of medical attention or have tried to kill themselves? Justice Minster Mori is a flat out liar. A disgrace.

One American former JAL English instructor was caught with some marijuana and given a 3 year prison sentence, forced to sit in his cell in 'seiza' position, it crippled him for life. American managing director of a financial company was run over on his motorcycle by a Japanese lady driving recklessly - victim gave police her license plate number they did nothing. many more instances like this out there

17 ( +20 / -3 )

Well, if nothing else, this proves the general ignorance of The Justice Ministry and Justice Minister Masako Mori.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Avoid the Police, see something bad happen never volenteer what you saw at best they will contact your company and you loose your job. Met many foreigners who had interaction with police prosecutors. None positive. One man was arrested for assault a month of detention interrogation turns out from security camera footage he is 45cm taller than the assulter. Lost his job his Japanese in laws never again trust him. They had the footage from the start but insisted he confess. Akie why the Australia hate? My family got there being guards on the boats, OK mums side stole a handkerchief. Can't taint a whole country over its history YOU really wouldn't like that.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The only thing that has changed between Japan's pre-war and postwar systems is they are no longer allowed to physically torture people.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

This over emotional reaction from some of our asian friends here shows how they are incapable to stand against a constructive criticism and then divert the main topic starting with what about here and there,and in some cases even manifesting their deep dislike to western system.

A country,any country is made by people not by Gods,therefore their systems are not perfect.

We can help each other to improve our nations with exchanging opinions.

But against stubbornness there is little to do.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

So basically:

Q: "Is it fair to call it hostage justice system?"

A: "It's not fair, so therefore it's not fair."

14 ( +15 / -1 )

If someone wants to get you into trouble in Japan all they need to do is accuse you of something you didn’t do, then you get instantly transported back to medieval times for 23 days for questioning with no contact with your family. It’s up to you to prove your innocence. What kind of system is that for people to live under? You are essentially at the mercy of everyone else around you and depending on their apathy not to make trouble for you. No wonder everyone’s so polite!

This is deeply unsettling for any foreigner resident in Japan.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

kazetsukaiToday  09:00 am JST

However, it is a detention center, a prison of sort, so one cannot expect to live as if confined to a home or an apartment.

Why should people that the police can't build a case against be kept indefinitely in "a prison of sort" and treated little differently from convicted felons?

One is placed there for a reason.

That reason is determined by laws and not at the whim of any individual. When one commits a crime in a any country, one must abide by such laws .

Except that isn't just people who have actually committed crimes that end up in these places.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

macvToday 11:47 am JST

macvToday 12:05 pm JST

CrickyToday 12:15 pm JST

Every time we get into a discussion about the Japanese justice system, we get the inevitable unsubstantiated whines from several people, who will provide no useful details for verification and a one sided presentation in a take it or leave it mode. I would really like to know how people can have such in depth knowledge that "they had the footage from the start", for example.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

This is deeply unsettling for any foreigner resident in Japan.

It's always been deeply unsettling for me.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There's a scene in the British comedy Four Lions where a police marksman shoots the wrong man in a crowd, and when questioned about it, he says, “He must be the right target…because I've just shot him!”

Anyway, we know that the Japanese justice system is appropriate because we say it is.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

This is one Reason why Japan will never be taken seriously on this issue -- when the guilty party is asked to defend itself, without a third party investigation, they are magically innocent of all suspicions.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

 the inevitable unsubstantiated whines from several people, who will provide no useful details for verification and a one sided presentation in a take it or leave it mode

This is not that different from what police, prosecutors, the Ministry of Justice, and their lapdog media offer.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

To also be fair however, I've watched the Japanese "justice" system deal unjustly with Japanese people as well. While they do bias against foreigners sometimes, they are nearly as unjust to their own people as well.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

"Access to bathing is granted to detainees at least twice a week in order to keep them in good health."

That's nothing to brag about, Japan! That:s like saying "I give my kids a bath twice a week! What's wrong with that? At least they're healthy!" Where's the SMH button?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

One man was arrested for assault a month of detention interrogation turns out from security camera footage he is 45cm taller than the assulter. Lost his job his Japanese in laws never again trust him. They had the footage from the start but insisted he confess. 

Same like Kelly Luce's case at Kawasaki Kmart where there is a footage that easy enough to clear her allegation within hour but they just detained her for weeks until she confessed to things she didn't do.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Someone from the overseas media needs to document this... basically get detained and document end to end....

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Every time we get into a discussion about the Japanese justice system, we get the inevitable unsubstantiated whines from several people, 

In Japan you have to fight for something that's should be your right from the beginning like fair trail, speedy trial and presumption of innocence, things that should be exist modern justice system. Like Ghosn's Lawyer mentioned that prosecutors still try to preparing their case and evidence indefinitely while Ghosn is being detained.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

I don't even know why the MOJ bothered. Like they have any incentive to change anything. What, are countries going to withhold trade deals over this?

If I were the MOJ, I would be like, "Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I love Japan and I always defend japan when they are accused wrongly on issues. But this is one area where Japan is clearly in the wrong

Same here. I'm yawning Japan.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

All the above sentiments very true. But Ghosn does a runner, does anyone expect the Ministry of Justice to compound their woes by actually admitting fault of any sort? In a culture that comes down so hard on anyone forced into publicly admitting fault or wrongdoing?

Come on guys, ain't gunna happen , hence the “intolerable” (would like to know what the Japanese word was though , bit stronger than ‘regrettable”) statement. Straight out of the playbook. *
3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki Every time we get into a discussion about the Japanese justice system, we get the inevitable unsubstantiated whines from several people, who will provide no useful details for verification and a one sided presentation in a take it or leave it mode.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Write your foreign minister about this and request a reply about torture in Japan's justice system. Keep writing them. They answer to you.

Foreigners in Japan need a backup bugout plan should they ever require, and have the ability, to flee. No reason to think your voice is heard in Japan, better to raise the alarm in the home nations

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What a joke!!! Who will believe such FAQ ? Why they only let VERY few medias to shoot in Japanese jails? Journalist can not talk to people in jail....I love Japan but justice do not exist here.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I think the end of the conclusion is cut, let me complete it:

"In Japan, there are strict requirements and procedures stipulated in law with regard to holding suspects and defendants in custody, with due consideration given to the guarantee of human rights."

"Unfortunately human rights do not apply to foreigners and the strict requirements and procedures, well ... do not apply to prosecution"

2020, "fights back", denial, FAQ on internet.

Sure.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Many third world countries are more developed than this in terms of law enforcement and human rights.

If you live in Japan as a foreigner pray every day for never ever need to face any legal investigation or face jail time.

The discrimination is very visible.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Every time we get into a discussion about the Japanese justice system, we get the inevitable unsubstantiated whines from several people, 

Well I would think several "Whines" would be worthy of a special government Pannel investigation. I'd go and give evidence under oath. But I would need immunity from months of interigation and sleepless nights, like to have a shower before bed. Really love my wife can I talk to her? Think the free world view might just be correct. I'm actually suprised there is no spike chair in the cell two spike chairs would be just too special.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Two spiked chairs that's an extaviounce.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Again a prime example of the government’s attempt at covering up a problem (a serious problem) rather than accepting responsibility and addressing the issues raised.

An entire rework of the Japanese Criminal Justice System is needed!! I cannot confirm this but I am sure in my heart that MOST confessions are coursed or forced. THIS makes this system both corrupt and broken!!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

MOJ...no point in explaining yourself. You're dirty deed tricks have been exposed! Best come out clean while you can.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Anyone know what happened to the student held for 9 months over a broken lamp.? He was unconscious. Has he left Japan? Or strapped to a bed untill death. The New Zealander was. Not so hard to find the justice system wrong. Blinkers on its all good, blinkers off....ohhhh

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Defence luckily got the video CCT and it was pretty obvious. The prosecutors had it the whole time, but didn't tell anyone. 99.5 percent conviction rate yep that's justice Japanese style.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A better approach to that FAQ would be to use Ghosn's case as an example. It can be done:

A1: Ghosn was arrested pursuant to court warrants and the detentions were similarly approved by the courts. As for the adequacy of the basis of the charges, details to any particular case are confidential. It can be said, however, that Ghosn is under investigation and has agreed to settle in other jurisdictions for money-related contraventions. Thus there would seem no objective basis to claim the charges are not sufficiently substantiated to warrant arrest or detention.

A2: Since Ghosn was arrested and put in detention on the basis of judicial instead of prosecutorial decisions, Q2 does not apply to Ghosn.

A3: Whether to call Japan's system a "hostage system" is a decision that should be made by each interested individual. Any protestations by us will likely be futile. The MoJ only requests that such decisions be made on objective and learned analysis of the entirety of the circumstances, rather than focusing only on disadvantageous circumstances.

Further, in Ghosn's particular case, prosecutors have pushed for preventive measures on the basis of flight risk and destruction of evidence. Given subsequent events, one can only say the prosecutors were correct in their assessment of the risk. Thus, any claims of hostage justice are extraneous to the case and unjustified.

A4: Combined counting all categories of arrest and detention, Ghosn was deprived of his liberty for a total of ~130 days over 5 charges, an average of 26 days per charge. Beyond noting that Germany allows for 6 months of detention per charge, the MoJ also notes that in paragraph 88 of case PRIMOV AND OTHERS v. RUSSIA, the ECHR has found a pretrial detention for only one charge of two months acceptable. Thus there seems no basis to claim Ghosn's rights have been disproportionately infringed in any way.

A5: The MoJ is not aware of any country where "presumption of innocence" precludes detention or arrest.

A6: In Ghosn's particular case, by admission of his lawyer, the average interrogation time per day is less than 7 hours. Eliminating the breaks he is interrogated for less than 4 hours a day. International standards for maximum interrogation time are hard to come by, but to take one available comparison, Article 187 of the Russian Criminal Procedure Code permits a maximum of 8 hours of interrogation time per day (not counting breaks), with each session having a maximum of 4 hours. Though Ghosn's interrogation (counting breaks) has allegedly extended to 11 hours on rare occasions, given his average load is only HALF it cannot be said he is suffering from any intolerable burden.

A7: The MoJ acknowledges that this is a deviation from international practice. As justification we can say the issue has been discussed in meetings which includes all sides of the criminal justice process. The consensus was that the inclusion of the lawyer will excessively degrade the usefulness of the interrogation.

The MoJ wishes to point out that a degradation of the usefulness of the interrogation not only compromises the rights of victims, but the experience in foreign nations suggest that in the long run it may not be to the benefit of even the accused. For example, the confession not only improves the accuracy of the case file, but also serves as evidence of active repentance, which provides grounds for a kiso yuyo - effective relief from criminal responsibility.

At the very least, this is standard practice and cannot be construed as discrimination against Ghosn.

A8: Referring to the complaint about lights being on all day, it must be pointed that this is standard practice. To refer to a certain case AKIMENOV v. RUSSIA of particular detention cells NOT found to be degrading:

Artificial light was provided by a fluorescent lamp with two 40-watt tubes from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and by a 40-watt lamp during the night, in line with requirements.

...

Artificial light was provided from a 100-watt bulb by day and a 75-watt bulb by night.

Thus, the presence of lighting 24 hours a day cannot be seen as a human right violation. Complainers clearly have limited understanding about realistic prison cells.

A9: In the specific case of Ghosn, there is no reason to assume his adverse treatment based on his foreign nationality. Multiple factors were to his disadvantage that would have applied to Japanese, to include refusal of active repentance and the existence of a victim willing to accept criminal responsibility to file a complaint on him. To refuse to prosecute him in such circumstances will clearly be unjust.

A10: Criminal trials vary in length depending on their complexity. Ghosn's case, concerning complicated financial transactions with attempts at deception, are especially complicated.

A11: As pointed out by Ghosn himself, the court did not prohibit his meeting with other people. Only his wife was excluded. On the whole, the wife is the closest of all family members, being the only voluntary rather than default relation, and accordingly the exigibility of the wife refraining from taking actions (including illegal ones) in securing her husband's release is particularly low. Overall, the flight risk was correctly estimated by the prosecutor, but refused by the court, which at least proves their independence.

A12: In Ghosn's case, clearly granting him bail was a mistake. It was nevertheless done. Thus Q12 has no applicability to Ghosn.

A13: Ghosn hasn't even been convicted yet. I hope you are not actively advocating the prosecutors randomly take on weak cases just to lower the conviction rate.

A14: There is no evidence of such in Ghosn's case. He just had a victim, while the others reconciliated with their victim.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

Wow, Ghosn is a hero, he risked his life hiding in a box fleeing Papan and exposing the prosecutors that are acting like rats!!!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

“For those idealists here that have NOT actually seen or experienced the actual system, it is totally unreasonable for those negative comments.”.  

I have been in one. The baths as others have said are once every five days.

Lights are kept on at night, and you can’t sleep on your stomach to avoid the lights.  

“I have not seen the facilities used for confinement”

 Okay, so you don’t know what you are talking about.  

“but have talked to some inmates that expressed no harsh treatment”.  

Most people aren’t made to sit seiza style or interrogated eight hours a day or tortured.  It’s more like continual boredom and stress. 

But sitting in a cell all day with two other people is not fun.  Neither is going without showers and not having any idea when you will get out. 

“Apparently some policies and procedures are different at different facilities, but those for foreigners are no different than those for local citizens.”

I’d say that’s true.  I wasn’t treated worse as a gaijin.

 

“One is placed there for a reason. “

You are placed there when you are under suspicion of something. So, they don’t know if you are innocent or guilty at first. 

Many of the people there are detained and then let go before indictment.  Get it?  So you are innocent, but instead of being held overnight, or told to answer questions on another day , you can be there for days or weeks, and lose your job and reputation. If it happened to you, you’d understand. 

“That reason is determined by laws and not at the whim of any individual. “

No.  Most times the police don’t even know their own laws. Talk to them and ask them some specific question.  

“When one commits a crime in a any country, one must abide by such laws”

Correct.  Absolutely. But like I said, people are arrested and detained for long periods of time and then released before indictment. In my case I told the truth from beginning to end. I wasn’t interrogated.  I was told someone was going to come to talk to me but was released.  I had done nothing wrong. But a week of my life and dignity was taken from me.

“There have been many famous and not so famous people from government officials to corporate officers and out right crazy people jailed here in Japan, but none has made such ridiculous claims. “

That’s simply because they are Japanese and don’t know anything about the outside world.  They think it’s normal when it isn’t.  They’d say “sho ga nai”

Plus, they never want to go back so they probably don’t want to say much.  People want to get back to real life and forget about it, and not remind people they were there because people like you will just assume they did something wrong. 

But in my experience, no, it wasn’t hell. It wasn’t like a POW camp.  If you enjoy just sitting down and doing nothing and reading and talking to other people, it’s not that bad depending on where you are and whether or not you get questioned. 

I can laugh about it. But, its an insane system.  And I now know why Japanese are so timid and don’t help other people. I also finally understand how so many people fall for ore ore sagi.  Most Japanese would rather pay money quickly than to end up arrested and have no idea when you will get out. 

And again, the people I met were interesting. The guards were pleasant. 

That bath after five days is really nice though! And walking out of there makes you appreciate being able to walk for 5 meters in one direction. 

I might agree with you that in some western countries, jails are too nice?

But this isn’t jail we are talking about.  Detention centers in Japan are worse than prisons.  And some people are in there for months. 

Its terrible if you’re innocent.  And bad if you are guilty - but only guilty of something that many other people do. 

There is no way Scott McIntyre should have been kept there for that long for what he did.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

One big problem is they grab you and hold you first then sort things out later even if there is no real clear evidence. Example if someone is falsely accused of groping on a train and they go on the claim first ("she said he said...") rather than find some real proof (DNA, cameras, etc). If they can fix that as well as implement Miranda-type rights then there is no real issue compared to other democracies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Japanese justice minister published a long article defending Japan in London's Financial Times newspaper a couple of days ago. Very unusally, the comments section was turned off. Obviously they are too sensitive to allow criticism.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

those experts warned that granting lawyers’ attendance during interrogation would not be supported by crime victims or the Japanese people,

If given the choice between no justice or injustice, the Japanese system will choose the latter.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@sakurasuki Today 01:21 pm JST

Same like Kelly Luce's case at Kawasaki Kmart where there is a footage that easy enough to clear her allegation within hour but they just detained her for weeks until she confessed to things she didn't do.

Believe it or not, it is not necessarily as easy as laymen think to get "clarifying" CCTV footage, even if you are the police. Remember that the shop is not a suspect. The strength of the measures one can take against a victim is limited.

If anything, Kelly Luce is a case where the system worked - even after she made a false confession, the police and prosecutor did not take her confession as case closed but instead continued investigating. And if anything, the fact she had a government job should have reduced her vulnerability. That it didn't is more the fault of the board of education than the justice system.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

@nishikatToday 03:58 pm JST

There is a bitter irony in this. There have been cases where the police tried to be cautious and verify the case before moving. Feminists have been known to call anything other than unconditional deference to a female "victim"'s claims sexist and demeaning to women.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

My guess is that Japan's hostage "justice" system is of no personal concern to those politicians and officials.

Why guess when you could research this yourself? Japanese politicians and officials have in fact received much rougher treatment than Ghosn. Start by reading about Suzuki Muneo.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

In the FT article I read, the justice minister referred to the Japanese constitution that explicitly outlaws forced confessions or relying on confessions to secure a conviction.

Hardly a good argument - the Americans made sure that this was in the constitution because Japanese justice revolved around forced confessions and had done since the Edo era. Nothing has changed.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Japanese justice minister published a long article defending Japan in London's Financial Times newspaper a couple of days ago. Very unusally, the comments section was turned off.

The Financial Times is owned by Nikkei.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Artificial light was provided by a fluorescent lamp with two 40-watt tubes from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and by a 40-watt lamp during the night, in line with requirements.

...

Artificial light was provided from a 100-watt bulb by day and a 75-watt bulb by night.

Thus, the presence of lighting 24 hours a day cannot be seen as a human right violation. Complainers clearly have limited understanding about realistic prison cells.

Kazuaki S - if you think that having a 40 watt light on throughout the night is acceptable shows how detached from reality you are. This is far too bright.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Ah_so Today  04:48 pm JST

You can explain that to the European Court of Human Rights, which is about as "human-righty" and "touchy-feely" as a court gets.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

JalapenoToday  01:48 pm JST

I don't even know why the MOJ bothered. Like they have any incentive to change anything. What, are countries going to withhold trade deals over this?

If I were the MOJ, I would be like, "Oh yeah? What are you gonna do about it?"

Japan scared about criticism from Japanese themselves moreover the trust of Japanese system has been damaged . now people are thinking, looking and questioning.

the Japanese justice system is the heart of the fake democracy .

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Did anyone see on tv last night they had one of those shows that talk about crimes and such. They had a story of a Japanese uni student who was framed for being the head of one of those ore ore scams. Was totally innocent but was kept in jail for over 100 days and was just not let out after his mum proved he was innocent. Prosecutors did nothing and assumed guilt from the start. They even slept while interrogating him. Took over 400 days from arrest to be able to prove his innocence in court. They had an interview with the man and he talked about the harsh conditions. No heating, lights on all night, long useless interrogations etc

11 ( +11 / -0 )

OK, what's the problem here? Some here think that Japan frames people for crimes for no reason and they just grab you off the street? No country is perfect, but Japan's incarceration rate is about 10% that of US. Perhaps tweak the laws so you do have the right to remain silent similar to Miranda. Beyond that.....

the Japanese justice system is the heart of the fake democracy .

OK, then what do you want? Can we be specific?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I looked at the FAQ and my impression is the MOJ did more harm to themselves than improve their image with the shallow waffle. Ghosn should be pleased.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The sad thing is if the team at the Japanese Ministry realized foreigners’ low opinion of the system, they would increase the number of showers per week and dim the lights and proudly announce they’ve improved the system.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have no quibble with those who criticize the justice system based on facts, and I also agree with many of the criticisms. But I’ve got no patience with those who weaken the arguments by taking a grain of fact and blowing it up into a bunch of nonsense. Such as this from the Fu:

“The right to a lawyer is only for the trial. So, when the defendant is eventually brought into a court, they get to see their attorney - after months without one? Barbaric.”

Lawyers are not allowed to be present during interrogation. Suspects are allowed to have and meet with a lawyer multiple times prior to any trial (or release with no charges).

Invalid CSRF

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Jeancolmar,“My guess is that Japan's hostage "justice" system is of no personal concern to those politicians and officials. They never have to worry about being put in substitute prisons if they commit ordinary crimes like bribery.”

There are numerous instances of politicians arrested for bribery (and other crimes). The most recent being Mr Akimoto, arrested (twice so far) in connection with the integrated resort issues.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

IMO the reporter missed the whole point by foreigners. While true, a process is indeed written somewhere, but adhiring it or practice what you preach clearly is not being conducted. Foreigners for the most part are treated unequally to their host nation counterparts. While there are those who are politicians that get arrested have in the past been part of a much larger picture behind the scenes i.e. political fallout.

This trend will continue until things start change for real.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hostage Justice is right! I was disappeared for 8 days, and everyone knew I was innocent. No Phone calls, no visitors, just straight bagged and tagged. I’ve wandered the streets of Kabul and Djibouti without regard for my own safety, and I’m lucky it was recent times, I often reflected on my fate under Unit 731. Japanese detainment was not always so Cush. I did get a shower every couple days, and 5 minutes of sunlight a day, (not on weekends though) and the food wasn’t bad. The floor was plywood covered in tatami colored paper and the lights were on all the time. I didn’t sleep the whole 8 days. The checks and balances were a total joke. The DA and the judge just rubber stamped my continued confinement even though it was obvious I was innocent. They searched my cell every day at all hours of the night sirens blazing and wouldn’t let me talk to anyone in English because I didn’t have a translator. The asked me details of my life and kids which they turned around and twisted and published in the paper in a sick, false way. They even made me volunteer for dna testing even though they new I was to be released (I didn’t know). After a week I finally requested a lawyer (seemed like a total scam although he did get me out) He worked a total of about 2 hours and shook me down for 5000$. Everyone, especially my lawyer, wanted me to confess and they would let me out in a day, or keep being innocent and spend 2 years in jail for crazy charges. They kept saying, the hardest thing in the world is to be innocent in the Japanese hostage justice system. I rate the Japanese justice system 0 stars.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

"To the contrary, the Japanese criminal justice system does not force confessions by unduly holding suspects and defendants in custody. It is therefore not accurate at all to criticize the system as being a 'hostage justice' system," it said.

"In Japan, there are strict requirements and procedures stipulated in law with regard to holding suspects and defendants in custody, with due consideration given to the guarantee of human rights."

But itself holding a suspect for too long, without formal charge or a lawyer upon request, in a bid to coerce confession just to stop the unduly long detainment - is by definition against the guarantee of human rights

Charge them or let them go till the trial - until they are convicted, they are considered innocent and therefore should not be imprisoned for weeks; no matter how good the detainment it's still prison

And forgodsakes, stop depending so much on confessions in the first place - people lie for many reasons. Actually do some gumshoe work searching for solid evidence, that police officers are paid to do investigating - goodness knows there's an oversupply of police officers just manning the desks

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki Today 04:31 pm JST

Believe it or not, it is not necessarily as easy as laymen think to get "clarifying" CCTV footage, even if you are the police.

What a ridiculous excuse! A CCTV footage is the most accurate and logical piece of evidence that any investigative body should acquire ASAP. If Japan Police or Prosecutors have difficulties retrieving something as simple as a CCTV, then we have to question their ability to serve justice.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If anything, Kelly Luce is a case where the system worked - even after she made a false confession,

System worked? If you mean the system able to make Kelly Luce break mentally so she confess for things that she didn't do then you can say that system works.

But that's not system that should exist in modern world.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The floor was plywood covered in tatami colored paper and the lights were on all the time. I didn’t sleep the whole 8 days.

McIntyre said that he can not sleep well too, while in detention.

The checks and balances were a total joke. The DA and the judge just rubber stamped my continued confinement even though it was obvious I was innocent. They searched my cell every day at all hours of the night sirens blazing and wouldn’t let me talk to anyone in English because I didn’t have a translator. The asked me details of my life and kids which they turned around and twisted and published in the paper in a sick, false way.

Ghosn wondering while he still in Japan, how come information about his case is being leaked all the time, while he can not reach to reporter at all.

They even made me volunteer for dna testing even though they new I was to be released (I didn’t know).

That collection is voluntarily base since they just want to try their luck to see whether you were involved in the past crime or even future crime.

After a week I finally requested a lawyer (seemed like a total scam although he did get me out) He worked a total of about 2 hours and shook me down for 5000$. Everyone, especially my lawyer, wanted me to confess and they would let me out in a day, or keep being innocent and spend 2 years in jail for crazy charges.

Most of appointed lawyer unless you choose yourself your lawyer, they'all ask you to confess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Read the Ministry of Justice FAQ but not sure that is what happens 100% of the time.

Also just read the story of Kelly Luce for the first time.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@gaijinpapa

people are arrested and detained for long periods of time and then released before indictment. In my case I told the truth from beginning to end. I wasn’t interrogated. I was told someone was going to come to talk to me but was released. I had done nothing wrong. But a week of my life and dignity was taken from me.

So you are innocent, but instead of being held overnight, or told to answer questions on another day , you can be there for days or weeks, and lose your job and reputation.

> @sensei258

I like to recount this story when I read articles like this. Our family experienced Japanese Justice first hand. My step-son was incarcerated for more than 2 weeks, and subjected to multiple interrogations and drug test (all of which were negative) simply because someone else in trouble mentioned his name. We had to hire a lawyer and threaten to sue just to get him released.

gaijinpapa and sensei258 tell stories where people being detained for weeks then being released without any indictment at all. There are plenty stories like this, since official claim that only 37% of accused person being proceed with indicment. That means 63% can be detained for weeks like gaijinpapa that's not went to any interogation at all. In case of sensei258's step son wen to detention was only because someone mentioned his name, no more than that.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Nishikat, “Perhaps tweak the laws so you do have the right to remain silent similar to Miranda.”

In Japan suspects already have the right to not answer questions put to them by interrogators.

Invalid CSRF

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A good summary by Ghosns counsel Takano;

http://blog.livedoor.jp/plltakano/archives/65954250.html?fbclid=IwAR0Zv-PJ6sbxF2_JKNMgvhy5AomPkHt7G08t4vEJzPUPRD421jLLNdQEioc

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese seem indifferent to all the foreign criticism of their justice system because they may think it is simply non-Japanese being nosy about a supposedly guilty individual.

So let me introduce (sorry moderator if you consider this off topic) the sad story of Moritomo Gakuen. Just like Ghosn's case, I do not know if the proprietor of this elementary school is guilty or not of the charges against him. But he made serious allegations that the PM and his wife were directly involved. Just like Ghosn and Saikawa, one party ended up in jail and the other free as a bird. The poor Moritomo couple were arrested and kept locked up for 10 months. What were the reasons that the prosecutor refused to offer them bail? Were they, like Ghosn, a threat to society? Likely to tamper with evidence? Not cooperating enough?

It is such cases that makes a lot of people cast doubt about the Japanese justice system. In the end, it may be "fair" against those whom it indicts but there is a gaping hole in terms of those who it does not.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@justasking Today 07:58 pm JST

A CCTV footage is the most accurate and logical piece of evidence that any investigative body should acquire ASAP.

Should and can are different words. One thing I learnt from all these months of protest in HK is how hard it can be to get tape. And it seems to be true even for tapes that might contain information that would exculpate police (so presumably they are interested in getting it), held by corporations that are accused of being lapdogs to the government.

If Japan Police or Prosecutors have difficulties retrieving something as simple as a CCTV, then we have to question their ability to serve justice.

I don't think it is a matter of ability than that television cop shows have greatly undersold the actual difficulties in getting that tape. If you think about it, the CCTV footage is the property of either the shop or the security company (for Kelly's case). I'm not sure if you should be that happy about a hypothetical society where police have the perogatives to seize possession of private property that does not even belong to a suspect.

@sakurasuki Today 08:22 pm JST

She was badly served by the diplomatic counsel, who effectively defamed the criminal justice system of his host country by suggesting that her actual guilt or innocence does not matter. She herself did not have faith in the criminal system, so she decided to fold.

As it turns out, they cared enough to not only get the tape, but they bothered to continue getting it even after they have gotten a confession and handed out a kiso yuyo. At this point, from a purely self-interest perspective continuing to investigate can only lead to finding exculpatory evidence leading to a reversal, but they still pressed on and distributed the points fairly when they found evidence.

That should actually be a ball on the side of them caring - in the United States if Kelly had folded like this due to bad counsel, the case would have ended there due to the adversarial system. Further, she would have had to plead guilty to a judge and not a prosecutor, which would mean a conviction on the record.

In the Japanese system due to the kiso yuyo, while she was fired at least she still does not have a criminal record, only some reference material with the procuracy.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

"To the contrary, the Japanese criminal justice system does not force confessions by unduly holding suspects and defendants in custody. It is therefore not accurate at all to criticize the system as being a 'hostage justice' system,"

OK, if that is true, why aren't all interview between the prosecutors and the defendants video recorded like in other countries. That way we could ensure that prosecutors aren't unduly forcing confessions from the accused.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The ministry of no-reform speaks...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The fact the justice ministry can't get anyone to speak in English explaining this fairytale,is proof positive they don't believe in what they're spouting.Hostage Justice is here to stay and Japan will actually double down on it from now on.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Everyone, especially my lawyer, wanted me to confess

Back in my English teaching days (about 20 years ago), I had a student who was a defense lawyer. She would take a private lesson every week. In the course of our conversations, she told me that realistically her job wasn't getting her clients a verdict of not-guilty, but rather to get them the minimum punishment for the crime of which they were accused.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@Strangerland Today 08:21 am JST

That's true everywhere. Consider this lawyer's comments on the episode's opening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mHWVaZweGI

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

In Japan suspects already have the right to not answer questions put to them by interrogators.

Very very different from Miranda in USA...I think even Canada and probably many other democracies. Once you say I want a lawyer with Miranda rights no one on the prosecutor's side/police can ever talk to you again and any communication has to be liaised via defense lawyer. Very very different. Of course if the US prosecutor has evidence against you and the prosecutor and judge agrees they can hold you like in Japan but they cannot ever talk to you once you tell them I want a lawyer. I wish they did it like this in Japan. That would be a major difference and how other democracies do it. Again, a real difference from Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hostage justice indeed.

My friend was scammed in a bar.

They put on 'extra charges' on his bill, when refused to pay he was attacked.

He was arrested and had to pay 2000 Ozy dollars to get out, or spend months in brutal confinement.

The whole thing was a scam, and he swore never to return to Japan.

It was hostage justice.

Pay up or suffer.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This FAQ is akin to a Husband defending his rape of his Wife.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The biggest paid lawyers are those that can defend their clients to get a verdict of "not guilty" or at least a hung jury

See the infamous OJ Simpson case

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, if that is true, why aren't all interview between the prosecutors and the defendants video recorded like in other countries. That way we could ensure that prosecutors aren't unduly forcing confessions from the accused.

They are doing it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Was the FAQ written in Engrish?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's true everywhere.

That's a pretty silly assertion. It's not even remotely true. Japan is the outlier on this issue, not the norm. In most countries the defense lawyer's job is to argue their client's innocence. In Japan, the defense lawyers don't even consider that an option.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They are doing it.

Unless it's changed without me noticing in the past couple of years, they do not record the entirety of the interrogations.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@StrangerlandToday 05:47 am JST

That's a pretty silly assertion. It's not even remotely true. Japan is the outlier on this issue, not the norm. In most countries the defense lawyer's job is to argue their client's innocence. In Japan, the defense lawyers don't even consider that an option.

Well, did you watch the link and the lawyer's comments about the American public defender chief telling her newbies about in reality how they don't have much chance (he effectively agrees).

Besides, all the plea bargains that go on is another clear evidence that this is not as true as people dream. You shouldn't compare the worst cases in one country to the ideal (rather than reality) of another.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@nishikatJan. 23 04:51 pm JST

Actually, it is not true in Germany as well, to take one. There are three types of pre-trial interrogation in Germany - by the judge, prosecutor and cops. The defendant gets the most rights in the first. He still gets the lawyer in the second, but not the third. Needless to say, MOST interrogations are by the cops:

The prosecution may also interrogate the suspect under § 163a(3), which declares §§ 133–136a, and (only) 168c(1) and (5) applicable mutatis mutandis , which means that the suspect may also be forced to attend but that defence counsel has a right to be present only for the interview of his client. Even this restricted reference is missing in § 163a(4) which regulates the interrogation by the police, where the duty to inform the suspect of the charges 126 is stated separately in § 163a(4) 1st sentence, and which makes reference only to §§ 136 and 136a; the police can therefore not force a suspect to attend an interview unless she has been arrested or is being held under other provisions, but it also means that defence counsel has no right to be present at the police interview of his client or any other person. However, a suspect can, of course, force the police to admit counsel by refusing to make a statement in the absence of counsel.

(from Principles of German Criminal Procedure by Michael Bolander)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

'McIntyre said the lights were on 24 hours a day, making it impossible to sleep more than an hour each night'.

Greta..Get on this! Multiple by everyone inside awaiting trial and...It's an outrageous waste of electricity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is purely for internal consumption here in Japan. Outside Japan and in the foreign language Japanese media we hear different stories, more balanced. We naturally have a more complete view of the situation. Most Japanese don't have that benefit so the gov't and Justice Dept can just play to the ignorance of their customers. When I speak they often show ignorance of all the facts. The facts are just not given.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

That's true everywhere. Consider this lawyer's comments on the episode's opening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mHWVaZweGI

You use a clip from TV series to backup your comment?

Even that TV series is refering to public defender not private practice lawyer. Public defender usually have to deal with many cases so they usually just ask a suspect to plead guilty so their cases becoming less and less. So it's not true everywhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

She was badly served by the diplomatic counsel, who effectively defamed the criminal justice system of his host country by suggesting that her actual guilt or innocence does not matter. She herself did not have faith in the criminal system, so she decided to fold.

Her diplomatic counsel just give advise based on fact that happens in her host country. As Ghosn said if you don't confess things just getting worst since they will try to break her even harder and not all people can handle that. So her diplomatic counsel just doesn't want bad things happened to her.

That should actually be a ball on the side of them caring - in the United States if Kelly had folded like this due to bad counsel, the case would have ended there due to the adversarial system. Further, she would have had to plead guilty to a judge and not a prosecutor, which would mean a conviction on the record.

You can not compared her if she were being accused for the same thing in US, in US she would have access lawyer immedately and maximum detention she have to do only 1 day max while in Japan it's 23 days! So no need for her to confess at all if she were being detained in US.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

As it turns out, they cared enough to not only get the tape, but they bothered to continue getting it even after they have gotten a confession and handed out a kiso yuyo.

They only care about their case, that's why they bother to get that tape to see Kelly Luce in action in that kmart.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Should and can are different words. One thing I learnt from all these months of protest in HK is how hard it can be to get tape. And it seems to be true even for tapes that might contain information that would exculpate police (so presumably they are interested in getting it), held by corporations that are accused of being lapdogs to the government.

Why HK?

I don't think it is a matter of ability than that television cop shows have greatly undersold the actual difficulties in getting that tape. If you think about it, the CCTV footage is the property of either the shop or the security company (for Kelly's case). I'm not sure if you should be that happy about a hypothetical society where police have the perogatives to seize possession of private property that does not even belong to a suspect.

Getting CCTV is is that hard? For Kelly Luce case that kmart is one of party that being involved in her case, they can give assistance to authority if only authority ask them in the first place. Even is not necessarily mean by seizure of recording only seeing footage is shouldn't that hard.

Days after Ghosn escape they can easily get that footage within days or case of missing Vietnamese girl in Chiba during 2017, they can get and analyzed CCTV recording pretty quick. It doesn't need to take 23 days like Kelly Luce's case.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sakurasukiToday 10:01 am JST

Why HK?

Because I happen to live there, so I have a bit closer view as to what's happening than most. Sure, it can be very quick - if the right people cooperate. If for one reason or another (privacy concerns, bureaucratic snags) they don't, it can take a long time, even for a government searching for evidence that might be exonerating (for them, not a civvie).

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I can't believe they actually acknowledged that suspects get interrogated without a lawyer present, especially for such a BS reason too...

Keep on embarrassing yourselves!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm part of the 1%.

I was arrested for assault and battery in rural Tohoku about 12 years ago after getting into it with 2 guys in a bar. I was interrogated in the police station for hours, even slapped around a bit. All I would say was "bengoshi hoshii" (I want a lawyer).

Finally I got sick of doing that so I DEMANDED a phone call to the US embassy, knowing darn well that the embassy would tell me that I'm A) an idiot and B) on my own. But the hillbilly cops apparently thought that Donald Rumsfeld himself would call in an airstrike on their little police station if I involved the US authorities and I was back out into the cold night within 30 minutes of my 'demands'.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And they thought this FAQ would work? On whom? That in its self tells you that there's no hope in fixing this system until they tear it right down and start anew. It is corrupted in the simplest definition of the word.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks to this outsider. Its the reason why japan. See foreigners ,with 1 eye with a smile ,and the other one with a stinkeye,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Saikawa is not in jail though."

Saikawa was allowed to return his inappropriate monetary gains by March. Why wasn't Ghosn given the same option? The answer? Japanese racism. It is that simple.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

jeancolmarToday  05:14 pm JST

"Saikawa is not in jail though."

Saikawa was allowed to return his inappropriate monetary gains by March. Why wasn't Ghosn given the same option? The answer? Japanese racism. It is that simple.

No. Ghosn didn't and still doesn't think it inappropriate. It is that simple.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"No. Ghosn didn't and still doesn't think it inappropriate. It is that simple". Can you document this and amplify this? I'm not disagreeing but I'd like this clarified.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After thought. Here's Saikawa. The company said him, "Look here. You that money inappropriately. Give it back by March." Did the company do the same for Ghosn? I see no evidence that they did. Thus, I believe the Japanese got the benefit of a doubt. The foreigner did not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

For Nishikawa and other exec-s, refer to Nissan's PR on its official website (in English if you like)

For Ghosn, you can watch Youtube's his press conference in Lebanon, not mention, it has been his stance that he would rebut ALL charges.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

how is two showers a week civilized?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a Joke? Do some actual changes or else just keep quiet. Don't make fun of yourself.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

WobotJan. 25 03:10 pm JST

I can't believe they actually acknowledged that suspects get interrogated without a lawyer present, especially for such a BS reason too...

It's not a BS reason. It's the truth. With the lawyer present because any time the defendant looks like he's going to let out more than he has to the lawyer will intervene, useful interrogation basically ends, and is but formality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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