Kazuaki Shimazaki comments

Posted in: Court upholds jail sentences for 2 Americans over Ghosn escape See in context

@justaskingToday 02:08 pm JST

Like all other people, I can only infer it by their actions, as you might notice by the word "must", which indicates an inference. However, the fact they did not admit to guilt immediately on landing, or even as soon as they realize they are going to be sent to Japan, points to this conclusion.

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Posted in: Court upholds jail sentences for 2 Americans over Ghosn escape See in context

@Robert CikkiToday 01:57 pm JST

First, it was upheld because the Taylors didn't file an appeal within the designated time.

Second, they didn't appeal it because there was nothing intelligent they could say given the circumstances. They laid out their (nonexistent) cards back in the US, where they were rebuffed. When they got to Japan, they still thought they had cards, but the lawyers must have convinced them otherwise.

That's all there is to it.

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Posted in: Court upholds jail sentences for 2 Americans over Ghosn escape See in context

@CrickyToday  08:13 am JST

For many petty crimes, the cost to prosecute and imprison is likely more than what the crim stole. Is that an excuse to not punish them?

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Posted in: Officials in Tokyo alarmed at lack of sense of crisis as virus cases hit record highs See in context

@rainydayJuly 29 05:10 pm JST

The government can't tell them its perfectly safe to have a sporting event with 100,000 people from overseas invited in without even requiring them to be vaccinated on the one hand, and then tell them the situation is so dangerous that they shouldn't go shopping on the other.

This analogy is faulty. Suppose your family isn't earning enough to eat decently. However, your family is in debt and ultimately your parents choose to repay the debt (having extended payment by one year already) rather than be found in default, over concentrating on feeding the family. Are you going to reason that's an excuse for you to splurge on a PS5?

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Posted in: Gov't alcohol ban blunder shows limits in anti-virus measures See in context

I wish people would at least keep the Olympics out of this. In essence, the Olympics is not an "in-family" commitment, but an external one. Keeping your external commitments come first unless you don't care how it would effect everything you do in the future.

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Posted in: School volleyball coach arrested for assaulting student See in context

At least they arrested him.

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Posted in: Gov't alcohol ban blunder shows limits in anti-virus measures See in context

@justaskingToday 12:35 pm JST

The government should have stopped fixed costs such as rents, instead of forcing businesses to carry the burden of the pandemic.

Do you realize you've just advocated for the government to be allowed to interfere with property rights without a basis in statutory law?

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Posted in: Man arrested for scattering anti-Olympic flyers from train See in context

@AddfwynToday 05:41 pm JST

That depends on whether you think what's condemnable is that service was indeed blocked, or that he did something intending to produce a concrete danger of blocking the service. Realistically, nobody deliberately puts something on train tracks without at least intending the latter. As a matter of jurisprudence, Article 234 is classified as 具体的危険犯 (konkrete Gefahrungsdelikte) rather than 侵害犯 (Verletzungsdelikt).

Don't allow your personal hatred of the Olympics to cause you the misjudge the extent of the criminal law. It might be dangerous to your personal liberty.

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Posted in: Man given religiously forbidden food at Nagoya immigration center See in context

@kennyGToday  07:57 pm JST

Basic principle

(1) The following rules shall be applied impartially. There shall be no discrimination on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

(2) On the other hand, it is necessary to respect the religious beliefs and moral precepts of the group to which a prisoner belongs.


(1) Every prisoner shall be provided by the administration at the usual hours with food of nutritional value adequate for health and strength, of wholesome quality and well prepared and served.

(2) Drinking water shall be available to every prisoner whenever he needs it.


(1) If the institution contains a sufficient number of prisoners of the same religion, a qualified representative of that religion shall be appointed or approved. If the number of prisoners justifies it and conditions permit, the arrangement should be on a full-time basis.

(2) A qualified representative appointed or approved under paragraph (1) shall be allowed to hold regular services and to pay pastoral visits in private to prisoners of his religion at proper times.

(3) Access to a qualified representative of any religion shall not be refused to any prisoner. On the other hand, if any prisoner should object to a visit of any religious representative, his attitude shall be fully respected.

So far as practicable, every prisoner shall be allowed to satisfy the needs of his religious life by attending the services provided in the institution and having in his possession the books of religious observance and instruction of his denomination.

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Posted in: Man given religiously forbidden food at Nagoya immigration center See in context

@louisferdinandcToday 10:59 am JST

The detainees in the film are seeking protection as refugees

In other words, it's not clear that they actually are legit refugees (and they probably are not, at least accoridng to the process).

there is also no mechanism for a third party to judge the appropriateness of detention.

Actually, there was an attempt, just recently, to introduce a "third party" - those little rights groups can vouch for a person, and the bureaucrat (eager to get responsibility off his shoulders) would likely approve it. Unfortunately, then the discussion turned to making these guarantors at least somewhat responsible for their own vouches, they balked, then that Sri Lankan women died and the hubbub from that buried that effort.

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Posted in: Man arrested for scattering anti-Olympic flyers from train See in context

@AddfwynToday 09:59 am JST

The article even says in the next paragraph that the incident did not disrupt train service.

By this standard, as long as a detonating bomb does not turn out to "disrupt train service" (because it didn't pack enough punch) it's not obstruction of business.

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Posted in: Man arrested for scattering anti-Olympic flyers from train See in context

Obstruction of business, no (a ridiculous authoritarian, anti-democratic charge if I ever heard one, putting business before the rights of the people).

Are you kidding me? Businesses are run by people! Without businesses, the people have nothing except for what they can make themselves, which is very little. Without businesses, we'll be headed to a pre-civilization era.

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Posted in: Man arrested for scattering anti-Olympic flyers from train See in context

BungleToday 11:42 am JST

Unless the flyers were sellotaped to bundles of steel rebar at the time, unlikely.

Unlikely. In other words, you aren't sure. Which means reasonably to be safe the railway company would have to cease usage of the track, go down, and collect those papers off the track. That's already valid obstruction. That you may personally sympathize with the man does not mean the railway company and the police don't have a valid claim in this case.

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Posted in: Man arrested for scattering anti-Olympic flyers from train See in context

@CrickyToday 07:38 am JST

Yuji Usui allegedly threw several dozen flyers from the window of the Nagoya subway's Tsurumai Line onto the tracks at around 11:15 a.m. Friday, hours before the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Tokyo, according to the police.

Did you read the part where they went onto the tracks? Are you sure this will never derail the train?

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Posted in: Vietnamese woman gets suspended sentence for abandoning bodies of newborn twins See in context

The crime she's conviced on is Article 190, which states:

A person who damages, abandons or unlawfully possesses a corpse, the ashes or hair of a dead person, or an object placed in a coffin is punished by imprisonment for not more than 3 years.

As usual, I've went to do some quick research on this case and the relevant law:


In English: According to the textbook interpretation (that is to say, this is what's taught in law school), the protected interest of these articles is the positive customs in religious life and the normal religious feelings of citizens. It's purpose is not to protect religion per se, but to provide concrete protection for freedom of conscience.

My personal comments: Many people, I believe, would feel some umbrage if they know a corpse was treated with disrespect, especially if it was of their family. Of course, since it is dead anyway, there should rationally really be little difference, but people do make such distinctions, which can only be abscribed to religious factors that sometimes even people who are atheist cannot help but absorb from their neighboring environ. This and its neighboring articles aim to protect that feeling.

In English: 遺棄 in this article's context means the leaving behind (放棄) of the corpse in any way that is inconsistent with the customary requirements of a proper burial (埋葬), even if the corpse was buried at a collective cementary.

Following this interpretation, the court's adjudication in this case is: "The corpse was kept in a cardboard box for the purpose of concealment, and leaving it in the room for over a single day is an act that harms the normal religious feelings of the citizens and fufills the elements of Corpse Abandonment." and "*as a resident in Japan for over 2 years, defendant should have easily realized that continuing to keep a corpse in her home is not preparation for a proper burial.*"

Given this context, what do you think?

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Posted in: Japan's explanation of Korean wartime forced labor insufficient: UNESCO See in context

@oldman_13Today 07:28 am JST

Yuji Hosaka ... I remember him. He works for the Koreans!

Yuji Hosaka teaches political science at Sejong University in Seoul. As a naturalized Korean of Japanese descent, he is also director of the Dokdo Research Institute.

Yeah, I thought so. He's essentially Korean.

In April 1945, the Japanese government decided to grant non-Japanese in Japanese colonies the right to vote in a colony’s national elections, but this measure was never implemented.

Always focusing on the negative, these Koreans. It means that only about 35 years after annexation, Koreans got the right to vote. BTW, after they were supposedly liberated, they will spend many, many years under either the Communist Party (in the North) or a military junta.

The crux of Japan’s discrimination policy lies in demanding that non-Japanese residents of its colonial territories like Korea and Taiwan fulfill their duty as Japanese without granting them the same rights as nationals.

If that were true, Koreans would have been conscripted much earlier.

Statistics say approximately 70 percent of Koreans forced to work at the mines ran away because of the tough labor. When they ran away, companies took all of their forced savings.

Wow. They didn't fulfill their part of the bargain and the company recovered by taking their savings. I'm supposed to feel really offended?

Unlike Japanese workers who could keep their bank account ledgers and personal stamps with them, Korean laborers had to entrust them to their supervisors.

If you unfortunately belong to a demographic who's percentage of cheating is "70 percent", it's not exigible to demand other parties to pretend this difference does not exist.

Those caught trying to escape were forced to perform labor under extreme conditions.

Because they are supposed to not react to the fact you tried to escape... the rationalizations of a Korean are never ending!

@KurukiToday 11:55 am JST

Japan's revisionist approach on history is a serious concern not just for Koreans and other victims of Japan's war crimes, but also for Japanese people.

Where's the revisionism on this issue. All the crap about forced labor and comfort women only surfaced in the 80s onwards. Which is to that the version of history with them is the Revised version.

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Posted in: Tokyo's drinkers drown frustrations over virus restrictions, Olympics See in context

@John-SanJuly 22 10:10 am JST

Like any bill without opposition support would pass through the lower and upper house on the first introduction.

This has not been true. It's only a couple of months back when the government, realizing that autoregulation is reaching its limits, tried to pass a bill that imposes criminal liability. The opposition objected, so it was downgraded to a toothless bill with fines that many businesses would prefer paying to continue. And before you say that the Party of Power should just ram the bill through, remember the reality of Japan as a "Party of Power" state, just like Russia and China. It's only the Japanese emphasis on consensus that keeps Japan from becoming Russia or even China. Think hard about what you wish for.

As for the Olympics, a deal is a deal.

In addition the same government continues to put people in harm’s way by not mandating mandatory work from home policies

It's the businesses claiming they are not able to comply. As for trying to threaten them, it's a lot easier to threaten people to refrain from doing something than to threaten them to do something.

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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@bokudaToday 11:46 am JST

Lots of bailed citizens are in the run from justice. It's popular knowledge that they aren't breaking the law because they are not CRIMINALS.

The level of legal education within the general population is even lower than the level of knowledge in say biology where they at least try to teach you the basics in secondary school. So I'll be very cautious with "popular knowledge" and even more with "popular knowledge" that claims to include the reasoning.

As a conclusion, a bailed citizen himself fleeing from justice indeed does not violate any laws. But the reason is not that they are not "criminals" but because continental (not just Japanese) law doesn't expect very much from criminals - they expect them to be trying to save their own necks from prison. Thus, the law concerning escape is carefully reasoned to protect only the "confinement function" when it could just as easily be the "smooth operation of criminal justice". That's why it is not a criminal act for a bailed citizen to be on the run. While we are at it, the law is also carefully written such that the defendant can openly lie 

Germany goes one step further in this general direction - it's technically not illegal to escape from prison as long as no other laws are violated (it's hard, but it has been done).

However, other citizens, are of course subject to regular expectations, and these include not helping crims.

The other corollary is that criminals are as a rule, not trusted. Something to remember when they are denied bail or you think the judge didn't give weight to their testimony. The logic of the legal system has it as its premise.

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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@bokudaToday 11:19 am JST

The law states that helping a CRIMINAL to escape is a crime.

As it turns out, they actually have a special phrase to refer to those that are "real" (that is, convicted criminals): 真犯人. So it's more like your Japanese vocabulary isn't large enough :-)

Ghosn is not a CRIMINAL, it doesn't apply in this case.

The jurisprudence has already ruled on this.

Remind you that in law, to use precise words is essential to avoid misinterpretations.

But is this not sufficiently precise? Don't be stupid. You know how humans really use language. No one except one desperate to find a hole would even try the attempted dodge with his own body. And if one does try the dodge, he'll get legal advice, who can tell him the jurisprudence has already ruled on this.

The attempt to be overprecise is why the copyright notice has to use several words that basically all mean "copy" - reproduce, replicate ... etc. It actually reduces the practical readability of the law, and if anything it encourages such 'hole-finding' behavior. If you just write "copy", people might reason it covers "recreate". If you write "copy, reproduce, replicate", people start reasoning that since you've written everything but recreate, you can recreate, and the next copyright notice now has to to write "copy, reproduce, replicate, recreate" but then someone reasons you hadn't written "duplicate".

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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@theloniusJuly 19 04:27 pm JST

The judge's comments do not make sense to me. They are punishing them harshly because of the seriousness of another man's crime. Is this the law? Really?

It makes perfect sense to me. The protected interest is the smooth operation of the State's criminal justice process. Do you think you are making the same size dent if you are springing a thief out of prison as if you sprang a murderer? For a more generic point, do you think it's more heinous to spring a murderer out of the prison than a thief? If so, then the "seriousness of another man's crime" CAN be a standard to set the sentence.

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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@therougouJuly 19 08:01 pm JST

But if they are charged with helping a "criminal" escape, despite said "criminal" not being convicted yet, doesn't that kind of prove their point?

Can we at least have some new apologisms? I've explained this many times (so much I stuffed the relevant information into a Google Sheets). This issue has been adjudicated before, and it was decided the word "criminal" does include the suspects and defendants. It is consistent with the real way we use language unless we have some special sympathy for the involved, it's consistent with the goal of protecting the criminal justice process, considering the law's vintage it's consistent with the way it's used in legal instruments.


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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@justaskingToday 06:19 pm JST

Yes. Japan Justice System apologists will always find a way to justify the illogical decisions.

All right. Why should they get credit? Reasons.

That's only for the Tokyo Prosecutors sake. You wouldn't want to aggravate the hand holding your neck. Whoever believes those statements is well...

Precisely, which is one reason why they did not get a Suspended Sentence.

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Posted in: American father, son get prison terms for helping Ghosn escape See in context

@CrickyToday 04:18 pm JST

No. The reasoning is as follows:



The judgment says that "They were not detained in accordance to Japanese law, but as part of the procedures for extradition" and thus merit only limited consideration.

As far as the merit is concerned, I'll point out that MOST of the Taylors' time in detention is due to them fighting the extradition using defenses that demonstrate their utter lack of repentance. In other words, it is not some inefficiency in the Japanese system, but their own choices. They could have seriously shortened their total time in pre-sentence detention if they had just immediately agreed to be sent over and pleaded guilty immediately rather than shortly before trial.

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Posted in: Bach urges Japanese to support Olympics See in context

@commanteerToday 12:36 pm JST

The damage to Japan's reputation would be minor - at worst, they might never get another Olympics. Some would call that a victory.

I don't think Japan will want another Olympics after this, but the effect is not that simple. Either you are a man (or state) of your word or you aren't. Sticking to your word through difficulty improves your reputation, which would translate into every other contract or treaty you sign, and vice versa.

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Posted in: Bach urges Japanese to support Olympics See in context

@Tokyo-EngrJuly 18 05:52 pm JST

So what about the 83% of Japanese people who prefer a delay or cancellation?

I'll appeal to their sense of honor and obligation. If we only fulfill obligations when they are favorable to us, we would hardly need the concept at all. I'll admit that at this point, hoping to get a net profit from the Olympics is a pipe dream, but a deal is a deal. I'll also point out reputation is a fickle thing, and while we might at least be able to guess at how many more COVID infectees Japan will have by holding the Olympics, we can't estimate the amount of damage to Japan's reputation as a deal-keeper if we break this one.

@itsonlyrocknrollJuly 18 08:41 pm JST

I contend and suggest that the Government of Japan could state the risks and dangers are such to the public health system that the contract is null in void.

A voluntarily entered contract is not null and void just because of changed or special circumstances, and it certainly cannot be unilaterally declared null and void. Unless you want to agree that China can break its treaties by unilaterally claiming special circumstances.

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Posted in: Bach urges Japanese to support Olympics See in context

@Tokyo-EngrToday 02:24 pm JST

So you also wish to force the Olympic games on the Japanese people now when 83% want postponement or cancellation? Why can't you postpone 6 months? No one is willing to answer that question. Are you worried about loss of revenue from NBC?

Because for one thing, the thing has been postponed once already and second, no one can even really guarantee that six months later would be better (for example, a new variant could easily develop), and third, a deal is a deal, and that's a concept that should be seared into the brains of people.

It's not like anyone pointed a gun at Japan to handle the Olympics.

All Japan can do now is execute, try to contain the damage (they are now estimating a worst case of 2400 cases per day after the event), and never get into such a deal again.


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Posted in: Bach urges Japanese to support Olympics See in context

Well, a deal is a deal, so the Olympics will be run without further delay. When you leave, we'll try to clean up any mess you made. But I bet this will be the last Olympics the Japanese will run.

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Posted in: Suga apologizes for asking wholesalers to facilitate alcohol ban See in context

The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan called for Nishimura's resignation, with its Diet affairs chief Jun Azumi saying Nishimura is "unfit as a commander" in the fight against the coronavirus.

Well, Constitutional Democratic Party, it's not like YOU have your own plan or you can provide a "commander" even if the LDP will let you provide one.

We all understand the situation. The LDP had, in the face of significant mockery around the world by Whites (following China's lead) instituting legally binding lockdowns (Italy even threatened homicide charges for those who break the rules), stuck fast to citing constitutional principles and attempted to handle the COVID situation non-coercively by requests, autoregulation and peer pressure. In 2020, it worked ... well enough.

Moving into 2021, autoregulation has clearly reached its limit, so the government tried to pass tougher laws. YOU objected. Somehow I don't think Jeff's idea of the LDP ramming the bill through with its majority will ring well with YOU. So the bill was rendered toothless but the impetus that originated it remains on the map. The "confusion" you see is the government, deprived of proper weapons by YOU, are now trying to find politically acceptable alternatives, only to be blocked at every turn.

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Posted in: Gov't under fire for plan to use financial institutions to enforce alcohol ban See in context

@JeffLeeJuly 14 05:33 pm JST

I read your posts. I tell you what the logical conclusion of your posts mean, and you are refusing to accept it.

I'm advocating for effective and sensible policies from an elected govt.

First, you have dangerously neglected to put the word "proportionate", something modern law now considers necessary because "effective and sensible" along lead to undesirable results. An easy to understand example would be "bail". Denying bail (or just not having such a system) is effective and sensible, from the viewpoint of ensuring defendants do not escape. Whether it is proportionate is the reason why bail is considered desirable.

Second, everyone has its own ideas of what is effective and sensible, and if we add "proportionate" to the mix the dispersion of opinions get even greater. It is dangerous thinking to encourage the overriding of institutional safeguards because YOU think one particular course of action in one concrete case is "effective and sensible" and should be enforced roughshod, and I'm glad the Japanese people as a whole are remembering past lessons better than harried Westerners.

As a practical matter, if you want to advocate for 強行採決 in the Japanese context, you might want to recheck the LDP's wishlist, and understand that ALL of them would go through in short order once this politico-psychological barrier is removed. We live in an imperfect world, and in Japan the LDP is the only feasible Party of Power. Twice in the past twenty years, Japanese have tried putting other parties in the driving seat. But if politics is the art of the possible, they simply are not good politicians because they don't have experience to give them a feel of what's possible and at what prices, and they don't have the connections to maximize what is possible. The LDP was soon reinstated and now w/ history on their side they will have to F-up very badly before the Japanese population as a whole will resort to replacing them.

Relying on pressure from financial institutions to enforce government public policy is bonkers.

Why is that? Ultimately, the enforcement of all government policy beyond what can be achieved by voluntary compliance is by coercion - the threat of consequences for compliance. If it's possible to get the financial institutions to cooperate, "requesting" them to enforce government public policy does have its advantages. The financial institutions have much personal contact with the various restaurants than the government does and can tailor the coercion much better than the government, who is both out of touch and obliged to "pretend they are equal" even when they are not.

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Posted in: Gov't under fire for plan to use financial institutions to enforce alcohol ban See in context

@JeffLeeToday 03:24 pm JST

So what? The ruling coalition has clear majorities in both chambers. The govt was elected by the people to make tough decisions like this. That's how democracy works. Allowing the whining of a minority to ultimately dictate social policy is definitely NOT how democracy works.

So you are actually advocating for the majority to just be a Tyranny of the Majority? Is not democracy about respecting the views of a maximum amount of people? :-)

In any case, the Japanese Diet is kind of what the CCP claims the NPC is, except in Japan's case you can actually see it working because of (relative) transparency. There's the Party of Power (the LDP), but not only is it a conglomerate of several factions, but the party as a whole is supposed to consult and negotiate with all the little parties and form legislation that are at least minimally acceptable to most of the little parties rather than just do a 強行採決 (forced approval, which in # of vote terms it can always do). So just running roughshod over them is less politically acceptable than might appear.

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