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Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025 gvnet.com/torture/Japan.htm

Japan

There are reports that people are often detained on flimsy evidence, arrested multiple times for the same alleged crime, or subjected to lengthy interrogations leading to forced confessions. Police can detain suspects up to 23 days without charge. Access to those in pretrial detention is sometimes limited. [Freedom House Country Report, 2018]

Description: Description: Japan

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Japan. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

HOW TO USE THIS WEBPAGE

Students

If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Torture by Authorities are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring the moral justification for inflicting pain or inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment in order to obtain critical information that may save countless lives, or to elicit a confession for a criminal act, or to punish someone to teach him a lesson outside of the courtroom. Perhaps your paper might focus on some of the methods of torture, like fear, extreme temperatures, starvation, thirst, sleep deprivation, suffocation, or immersion in freezing water. On the other hand, you might choose to write about the people acting in an official capacity who perpetrate such cruelty. There is a lot to the subject of Torture by Authorities. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.

*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Japan

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

www.state.gov/reports/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/japan/

[accessed 26 July 2021]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT

Prison conditions generally met international standards, although some prisons continued to lack adequate medical care and sufficient heating in the winter or cooling in the summer.

Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

freedomhouse.org/country/japan/freedom-world/2018

[accessed 13 May 2020]

DOES DUE PROCESS PREVAIL IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL MATTERS? -- Constitutional guarantees of due process are generally upheld. However observers have argued that trials often favor the prosecution. There are reports that people are often detained on flimsy evidence, arrested multiple times for the same alleged crime, or subjected to lengthy interrogations leading to forced confessions. Police can detain suspects up to 23 days without charge. Access to those in pretrial detention is sometimes limited.

In July 2017, nearly 300 categories of conspiracy offenses were added to criminal law in order to help identify terror plots and organized crime networks. Critics, including the UN, raised concerns that the changes gave the government too much power to restrict civil liberties.

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture [PDF]

U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment -- Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/1 3 August 2007

www1.umn.edu/humanrts/cat/observations/japan2007.pdf

[accessed 2 March 2013]

Interrogation rules and confessions

16. The Committee is deeply concerned at the large number of convictions in criminal trials based on confessions, in particular in light of the lack of effective judicial control over the use of pre-trial detention and the disproportionately high number of convictions over acquittals. The Committee is also concerned at the lack of means for verifying the proper conduct of interrogations of detainees while in police custody, in particular the absence of strict time limits for the duration of interrogations and the fact that it is not mandatory to have defence counsel present during all interrogations. In addition, the Committee is concerned that, under domestic legislation, voluntary confessions made as a result of interrogations not in conformity with the Convention may be admissible in court, in violation of article 15 of the Convention.

The State party should ensure that the interrogation of detainees in police custody or substitute prisons is systematically monitored by mechanisms such as electronic and video recording of all interrogations; that detainees are guaranteed access to and the presence of defence counsel during interrogation; and that recordings are made available for use in criminal trials.

In addition, the State party should promptly adopt strict rules concerning the length of interrogations, with appropriate sanctions for non-compliance. The State party should amend its Code of Criminal Procedure to ensure full conformity with article 15 of the Convention.

The State party should provide the Committee with information on the number of confessions made under compulsion, torture or threat, or after prolonged arrest or detention, that were not admitted into evidence.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

From an old article -- URL not available

Article was published sometime prior to 2015

JUSTICE SYSTEM - The daiyo kangoku system, which allows police to detain suspects for up to 23 days, continued to facilitate torture and other ill-treatment to extract confessions during interrogation. The Special Committee of the Legislative Council under the Ministry of Justice continued to discuss potential reforms to the criminal justice system.

Govinda Prasad Mainali, a Nepalese national, was acquitted of murder on 7 November after spending 15 years in prison. He was ill-treated and denied access to a lawyer while being held under the daiyo kangoku system. In July 2011, the prosecution handed over evidence that subsequently proved him innocent.

Search AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

For current articles:: Search Amnesty International Website

www.amnesty.org/en/search/?q=japan+torture&ref=&year=&lang=en&adv=1&sort=relevance

[accessed 5 January 2019]

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*** EARLIER EDITIONS OF SOME OF THE ABOVE ***

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61610.htm

[accessed 2 February 2013]

2009-2017.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2005/61610.htm

[accessed 4 July 2019]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT The law prohibits such practices, and the government generally respected these provisions in practice. However, there were isolated reports by bar associations, human rights groups, and prisoners that police and prison officials sometimes committed abuses.

Although prison rules remained confidential, reported punishments included forcing Japanese prisoners to kneel motionless in an empty cell for several hours at a time and requiring foreigners and inmates with disabilities to sit on a hard stool. While the Prison Law Enforcement Regulation stipulates that the maximum time prisoners may be held in single cells is 6 months, wardens continued to have broad leeway in enforcing punishments selectively, including "minor solitary confinement," which may be imposed for a minimum of 1 and not more than 60 days. Parole may not be granted for any reason, including medical and humanitarian reasons, until an inmate has served two-thirds of his or her sentence.

Human rights organizations reported that death row prisoners were held for years in solitary confinement with little contact with anyone but prison guards.

The law and the criminal code include safeguards to ensure that suspects cannot be compelled to confess to a crime and that they cannot be convicted or punished in cases where a suspect's confession is the only evidence. Unlike in 2004, there were no reports that police used physical violence that included kicking and beating as well as psychological intimidation during interrogation to obtain confessions. A significant number of all criminal cases going to trial included confessions, reflecting the priority the judicial system placed on admission of guilt.

Unlike in 2004, there were no reports that prison guards sexually abused female inmates. On January 28, the prison officer who raped and impregnated a female inmate in 2003 was convicted and sentenced to a three‑year prison term. There was no information on the case of the male prison warden charged with engaging in sexual acts with a female inmate in 2004.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Japan", http://gvnet.com/torture/Japan.htm, [accessed <date>]