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
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.
No need for "constitutional emergency power" -- Diet action serves the "public welfare"
The Asahi Shimbun
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.
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.
Court routinely discards records on historic lawsuits, trials
The Asahi Shimbun
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.
Backstory to Abe’s Snap Election – the Secrets of Moritomo, Kake and the “Missing” Japan SDF Activity Logs
The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 15, Issue. 20, No. 6
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 .........
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, ...
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.
The silencing of an anti-U.S. base protester in Okinawa
The JAPAN TIMES
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...............
Prime Minister Abe Subverts Japan’s Public Records Act
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 ...........
Japan’s Proposed National Security Legislation — Will This Be the End of Article 9? 国家安全保障基本法案 九条の終焉か
The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 13, Issue. 24, No. 3
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. ..................
The Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association『新聞研究』 No.761
"Raising the Wall of Secrecy in Japan －the State Secrecy Law of 2013"
Meiji Law Journal, Vol. 21 (P13-P34)
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.
"Japan’s 2013 State Secrecy Act -- The Abe Administration’s Threat to News Reporting" 2013年日本の特定秘密保護法 安部政権、報道に対する脅し
The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 12, Issue 10, No. 1
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 Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 11, Issue 42, No. 1
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. ..............
Japan’s Democracy at Risk – The LDP’s Ten Most Dangerous Proposals for Constitutional Change 危機に瀕する日本の民主主義 自民党憲法改正案、最も危険な10項目
The Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, Vol. 11, Issue 28, No. 3
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. ..........