In this book the authors address recent reforms implemented to Japan’s judicial system, pointing to a bundle of unsavory problems in the new system and offering insightful suggestions for its improvement.
The authors are Hiromasa Ezoe, the central figure in the Recruit scandal that rocked Japan in the late 1980s, and attorneys who were involved in his defense trial. In the companion volume Where Is the Justice? (2010) Ezoe describes how a groundless news scoop by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in 1988 led to a full-fledged media frenzy in which he, the founder of Recruit Co., Ltd., a prominent publisher of information magazines, was quickly reduced from a highly regarded self-made media baron to a viciously vilified perpetrator of bribery deserving of the severest punishment---all before he was put on trial.
Japan “boasts” a conviction rate of 99.8%---a statistic unimaginably high in any other country. But that phenomenal “success” rate is the result of coercive interrogations away from public scrutiny. What is needed is complete recording in all situations.
Ezoe and his co-authors deal with these issues, and offer suggestions aimed at bringing Japan’s justice system, belatedly, into the 21st century.