law of employment foreigners

Japanese justice system

Since Carlos Ghosn (the chairman of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, and the chairman and CEO of alliance partner Renault) fled to Lebanon during the winter holiday period 19-20, Japanese justice system was under the spotlight from media all over the world. Carlos Ghosn criticized the system and his human rights were violated, thus the only way to get fair trial was to escape from Japan by hiding inside a box all the way to one of his home countries.  So What is so unique about Japanese justice system?

Japanese ” Hostage “ justice system

The world media broadcasted japanese system as  “hostage” system. This is because in Japan, once a person was arrested, the prosecutor’s office can hold the person without any legal consultation or assistance up to 23 days. During this time, the person would stay in jail and be transported to attorney’s office daily basis and be questioned by officers. Moreover, normally people are questioned so intensely without any access to the outside world, and their privacy would be no existence. Most people gave up and confess their crimes due to their mental state that officers would put them through. The officers can be forcefully persuasive; thus being silent would be nearly impossible. Furthermore, the prosecutor’s office can extend this time period, if it’s necessary. (Carlos Ghosn was held under this time period for a long time)  The prosecutor’s office also forbid them to see anyone during this time, even their family members.

What would happen if you were to be arrested?

If a person is arrested, the person would be kept in jail at a police station for up to 48 hours. During the time, depending on the seriousness of the crime, the person can be released, or sent to the prosecutor’s office. After that, the person is not allowed to contact anyone for an average of 72 hours. (But if the person is considered as a serious criminal like Carlos Ghosn, this time can be much longer.) Then the person is allowed to meet with a lawyer. If you can not afford a lawyer, the government would appoint one for everyone. After the prosecutor’s questioning and investigation,  the prosecutor would decide to prosecute the person’s case or not. However, the majority of Japanese prosecutor’s offices would proceed most of their cases to prosecutions. It is very rare that a case would be dropped by them.

Why Japanese system was criticized?

In Japanese constitution, the prosecutor’s office is allowed to keep an arrested person if they think that there is a possibility of the person tempering an evidence or running away; however, currently  the prosecutor’s office is holding the majority of arrested people if they do not confess the crime they are accused of. Moreover, after an arrested person is released on bail,  the prosecutor’s office can put a lot of restrictions on its bail condition. These restrictions could be interpreted as a violation of human rights. Lastly, Japan is the only country in developed countries, not allowing a lawyer to be present at questioning. This part was very unknown to the world and many legal societies were shocked by this old fashioned system is still running in Japan.


Japanese Individual Tax Return for Non-permanent Resident (Part 2)
Final tax return in Japan “kakuteishinkoku” :確定申告について
Tax sytem in Japan (income tax and resident tax):所得税と住民税
Social Insurance System in Japan:日本の社会保険制度
Health insurance system in Japan:健康保険制度




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