What Happens When Criminal Cases Go to Trial in Japan?

If you go to court in Japan on a criminal charge, you are almost certainly going to be found guilty. That might not be written in ink anywhere, but the fact remains that over 99 percent of all of Japan's criminal trials that end up in court also result in a conviction. The nation's judicial system has been criticized for years, at least in part because prosecutors there do not act in the same capacity as they do in many other places. Instead of simply pursuing charges against a suspect, prosecutors in Japan can also investigate to ultimately decide whether someone should be charged. It is a virtual certainty that if a prosecutor decides there's enough evidence to try someone, then that someone will be found guilty. According to Japanese lawyer Nobuo Gohara, once a person is indicted, his or her hopes are over. "Even if the prosecutors wrongly indict a suspect, it is extremely difficult to reverse that decision in court," Gohara told the France 24 television network. "Few judges are willing to deliver an innocent verdict. And this has led to some false convictions."

Right and wrong in Japan:

  • Public dancing after dark was outlawed in Japan after World War II, and was not permitted until 2015.

  • Japan implemented a national no-smoking law in 2018, but many restaurants and bars remain unaffected by it.

  • Japanese women who get divorced must wait six months before remarrying; men are free to wed again immediately.

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More Info: France 24

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