crime

Film explores innocent man's decades-long imprisonment

23 Comments
By Mie Sakamoto

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killing a 16-year-old high school girl in Sayama, near Tokyo, in 1963.

> Sakurai was just 20 at the time of his arrest, a period characterized by hardship and loss, in which he made a "false confession,"

60 years latter nothing changed.

https://www.tokyoweekender.com/2014/12/guilty-until-proven-innocent-forced-confessions-in-the-japanese-legal-system/

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

It is high time that Japan's imbecile judges were replaced.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Poor man that's his entire life he should be paid compensation and treated with up most respect.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

It is high time that Japan's imbecile judges were replaced.

I doubt that would do anything Alan. The whole system has to be overhauled and changed. Prosecutors and police should have their wings clipped as they have power here similar to most 3rd world dictatorships. The system and way of thinking is the problem here.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

This is another reason why we need a jury system for the simple fact that you can NEVER trust those in power, when a judge or a police officer or the prosecutor set his or her mind on the accused it is almost impossible to break that mind set, everyone will go along so they don't stand out.

With a jury you got the check and balance power were ordinary people look at the evidence and make their recommendation.

I am glad to see Mr. Sakurai Free and I hope Mr. kim continues his NOVEL work, well done.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@Allen personal experience of dealing with judges (USA) - I have a very common name, was arrested and hauled to jail, spent 15 hours behind bars for a clerical error.

After bail, was able to validate the error but DA still had to drag me through court. I listened to the sanctimonious judge dispense his opinions and unsolicited advice to other defendants for a couple of hours. He got to me and when the DA said they had they were in error (had to make a hell of an effort to get them on the right page before hand) and tried to dispense his BS to me also.

TLDR: judges can be irresponsible self- puffery. Not a fan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It is high time that Japan's imbecile judges were replaced.

Wouldn't change a thing. Judges here are not like judges in most Western systems. In Japan, they are more like legal bureaucrats who do what they are told by the prosecutors. They are very limited and their careers would disappear if they challenge the prosecutors too often. The police seem to just make up the rules as they go - they take a disliking to someone and then find something to charge them with. The prosecutors have the ultimate say, though. The 99% conviction rate means that the prosecutors are holding all the cards. If you cannot successfully convince them to drop the charges, the case is already as good as lost.

For comparison, though, the conviction rate in federal courts in the USA is above 95%. Coercive plea bargains are offered that force many innocent people to accept a guilty plea. I wouldn't want to be involved in the "justice system" in either country.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

at the very least, let's hope these movies shine a bright enough light to stir up honest debate in Japan about its justice system

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Commanteer,the people dispense Justice in America, American have a right to go before a judge,at arraignment and ask for the judge to have charge drop,he has the power to do this in the first step,if their is no just cause for the state to hold you in custody,he also appoint the grand jury,the grand juror are citizen of the community,who are picked by the court,they are independent of the prosecutor,they listen to evidence that the prosecutor,present if they believe it is,they issue an indictment against the defendant,and the person charge,has the option of letting the judge hear the case or an another set of jurors,the trial jurors decide your fate

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

A life is taken away and years of false imprisonment can never be given back. It won't be the last case.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I’ve faced prosecutors twice and they were very nice people who I respect. But I still have injuries from police questioning. Fact.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Rustom

at the very least, let's hope these movies shine a bright enough light to stir up honest debate in Japan about its justice system

Netflix is also releasing another documentary soon about the illegal imprisonment of Carlos Ghosn. I wonder if the J-government will try to ban its release in Japan.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Netflix is also releasing another documentary soon about the illegal imprisonment of Carlos Ghosn.

awesome!!! Can't wait!

I wonder if the J-government will try to ban its release in Japan.

I would not be surprised if they did. Or at least try to scream unfair racism or other BS like that

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

I think the most interesting thing here is how some people here would have send, scum, he doesn’t deserve life, he should be strung up, and even if they confess. They’d happily string them up. Makes me wonder how many here have reevaluated their opinions on the death penalty. Of course there are those that will always want to look back in hindsight or on this board keep quiet. 29 years they said he was guilty. Can we really believe any police statement that relies on confessions only?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

One of my neighbors is a judge and has been for over 25 years. He told me he has never once found anyone to be not guilty. Apparently, the police are always right, and never make mistakes, so the judges don't have to judge, they only have to sentence. They are more severe on those who show no remorse, so if you didn't commit any crime to start with, and won't sign a forced confession, you are in the worst possible place when it comes to sentencing. That is basically the system. I understand fewer cases come to court and the prison population is comparatively low, but this cannot be right.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I'm guessing this one won't be shown at Eon or Toho cineplexes, and won't be praised by national media if even mentioned at all. And the man got a measly 74 million yen for 29 years + all the crimes AGAINST him? Should be 74 BILLION at least. And what has his case changed? Absolutely nothing. Zilch. They are still doing the same thing now and boasting about their 99% conviction rate.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

From what I understand, Japan's legal system went wrong very quickly after the new constitution was established after WW2. Fearing a massive influx of foreign refugees, and criminals after the war, a concession was given, to allow a suspect to be held for 23 days without charge. This seems to be the crux of the problem with Japans (so called) legal system. Judges are just inept rubber stampers.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Compensation in japan is so low. He could have earned that money in a year. There is no proof that he couldn’t have. The compensation for this type of case has to be way over USD 100M.

And also the same system seems to continue. In a fair system, you wouldn’t have almost 100% of people confessing the crime. That’s an obvious evidence of human right abuse.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As a solicitor/PhD of criminal law, Japan has a long long way to go to catch up to anything remotely resembling humane when it comes to prosecution.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

American judges,even know their is a chance of you been guilty,cannot legally convict,that not their role but the duty of the state ,lots of Judge know Trump is a criminal,but legally they cannot do nothing

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

police officer or the prosecutor set his or her mind on the accused it is 

Not to mention they ate legally allowed to hide (from defenders) and sometimes destroy evidences that are against the case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What is most disturbing to me about these comments is that they are mostly critical of the justice system and mostly correct. It's an open secret that there is something badly wrong with the system (and, no, I am not gonna compare to America to justify this or that aspect either) and I don't feel I would ever get fair justice in Japan. So, who are these people who are negging the comments. Presumably they are either knowledgeable defenders, in which case it would be nice to hear their arguments, or they simply won't hear anything negative, which would also be nice to hear them explain.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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