The Reality of the “Right to Counsel” in Japan and the Lawyers’ Campaign to Change It

The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 18, Issue. 13, No. 4

July 02, 2020

Makoto Ibusuki and Lawrence Repeta

This article describes the evolution in access to legal counsel during the pretrial interrogation stage, the recent decline in pretrial detentions, and the campaign for the regulation of interrogations by Japan’s bar associations.  Available evidence suggests this decline is primarily the result of the proactive stance of defense attorneys who challenge court detention orders more frequently and of judges who are more willing to recognize those challenges and release suspects from detention.

June 02, 2020

Some people suggest that Japan’s Constitution must be revised in order to grant the Cabinet special authority to address the coronavirus emergency.  But there is no need for such a change to the Constitution.  This article introduces a court judgment from the United States regarding lockdown orders.

April 14, 2020

Article 41provides the government with sufficient power to take aggressive action

SEATTLE – Many foreign observers are puzzled by Japan’s odd response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which some call a “soft lockdown.” After dithering for weeks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe finally exercised power granted under the recently revised New Influenza Special Measures Act to declare a state of emergency on April 7 over Tokyo and six other prefectures, authorizing prefectural governors to request social-distancing measures and other actions.

February 05, 2019

The Tokyo District Court has rarely used a special system designed to preserve historically valuable trial records, meaning that documents on some epoch-making civil lawsuits no longer exist, The Asahi Shimbun has found.

Under the “special preservation” system that already existed in prewar years, the court is supposed to decide what could become historic trial documents or reference materials, and preserve them forever.

October 15, 2017

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced his call for national elections on Monday, September 25. News reports explained that he deemed the timing right due to a recent bounce in public support triggered by threats from North Korea and by the severe weakness of the political opposition.1  .........

August 16, 2017

On March 15 of this year, the Supreme Court of Japan issued a rare decision that limits the authority of the police to conduct surveillance operations. The case involved the placement of GPS tracking devices on the vehicles of surveillance targets. According to the published Supreme Court opinion,  ...

July 16, 2017

On Nov. 28, 2016, the Nagoya High Court overturned the acquittal of Hiroto Fujii, mayor of the Gifu city of Minokamo, sentencing him to 18 months imprisonment with labor, suspended for three years. Elected in 2013 at the age of 28, he remains Japan’s youngest mayor.

July 07, 2017


JCLU Newsletter vol.403

July 01, 2017

今日、開かれた政府を求める世界の活動家たちが提唱する「情報に対する権利」というフレーズは、大きな力を持つに至っている。開かれた政府を求める運動の世界的なリーダーの一人であるトビー・メンデル(Toby Mendel)は最近次のように書いた。

March 07, 2017


January 05, 2017

When three antiwar activists were detained by the Tokyo police for 75 days in 2004, the Nobel Prize-winning international rights group, Amnesty International, formally declared them to be “prisoners of conscience,” thus tarring Japan’s reputation with a brush that is ordinarily reserved for the world’s most oppressive regimes...............

October 09, 2015

Japan’s open government activists hailed the adoption of the national Public Records and Archives Management Act (“Public Records Act”) as a milestone in government accountability. When that law took effect on April 1, 2011, government agencies were legally required to make and preserve records ...........

June 22, 2015

Japan is facing a constitutional crisis. The ruling coalition seeks to pass legislation that would overturn the nation’s longstanding prohibition of “collective self-defense.” Expert opinion is nearly unanimous that these proposals violate Article 9, the peace provision of Japan’s Constitution. ..................

政府の秘密と不正を暴く報道の役割 - スノーデン事件と海外メディアの経験から

The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association『新聞研究』 No.761

December 01, 2014

"Raising the Wall of Secrecy in Japan -the State Secrecy Law of 2013"  

Meiji Law Journal, Vol. 21 (P13-P34)

March 26, 2014

Japanʼs national Diet adopted a comprehensive state secrecy law on December 6, 2013.1 Expanded state secrecy power is emblematic of the broad political agenda of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies.

March 10, 2014

The "Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law"1 poses a severe threat to news reporting and press freedom in Japan. Government officials have not shied away from intimidating reporters in the past. ..............

オバマ政権とジャーナリズム ​140万人が最高機密に接近可能な米国  秘密保全制度が国家を脆弱化する  

The Asahi Shinbun 『Journalism 』 no.283

December 01, 2013

October 21, 2013

The "Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law"1 poses a severe threat to news reporting and press freedom in Japan. Government officials have not shied away from intimidating reporters in the past. The new law will grant them greater power to do so.  ..............

July 14, 2013

Is it time to bring Japan’s postwar experiment in liberal democracy to an end? Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his followers seem to think so. In April 2012, the LDP published a clear blueprint for constitutional revision that would go a long way toward achieving this goal. ..........

Government transparency : Japan's Information Disclosure Law od 2001

Freedom of Information Review

August 01, 2003

On 13 December 2001, a three-judge panel of Nagoya District Court rendered the first court decision appying Japan's new information disclosure law.

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