Oct 17, 2009

Photo album chronicles daily lives of Ainu living in Tokyo

A record of the daily lives of Ainu living in the Tokyo metropolitan area has been published as a photo collection. Around 160 photos in “Ainu, at times Japanese” depict Ainu who are involved in traditional religious exercises, dancing and singing, and marriage ceremonies ...

Execution of a noted jailhouse writer commemorated

Aug 3, 2009

Execution of a noted jailhouse writer commemorated

Hundreds of people gathered on the 12th anniversary of Norio Nagayama’s execution, a man hanged for killing four people when he was a teenager. “It was highly likely that he would have led a life of atonement (if he had not been executed on ...

Public right to know vs. secret pact

Jul 8, 2009

Public right to know vs. secret pact

Fumitomo Fujita was excited when major newspapers protested the April 1972 arrest of a reporter who stood accused of soliciting a Foreign Ministry secretary for classified documents on Japan-U.S. talks over the reversion of Okinawa. “I thought it was amazing that the media was ...

Jun 10, 2009

Ainu still lead underprivileged lives, survey finds

Many Ainu lead underprivileged lives, with their income and university advancement rate remaining low, according to a survey by the Hokkaido University Center for Ainu & Indigenous Studies and the Ainu Association of Hokkaido. Their average annual household income stands at ¥3.56 million, around ...

Cleared con fights for taped interrogations

Jun 6, 2009

Cleared con fights for taped interrogations

Hiroshi Yanagihara claims he was subjected to harsh interrogations while in custody in connection with rapes and attempted rapes he knew nothing about in Himi, Toyama Prefecture in 2002, pressured to confess and then sent up. He is now campaigning to compel authorities to ...

May 20, 2009

Book chronicles lives of death-row inmates

The previously secret lives and unheard voices of people on death row have been published by a group opposed to capital punishment at a time when members of the public may soon be required to give the death penalty under the lay judge system. ...

NGOs report efforts to motivate G8 in Hokkaido

Apr 22, 2009

NGOs report efforts to motivate G8 in Hokkaido

Nongovernmental organizations have issued a report on their efforts to press their cases to the leaders of the Group of Eight nations when they held their summit last July at Hokkaido’s Lake Toya resort. The report, subtitled “We can change the world,” shows how ...

Killer's letters apt social study, 40 years on

Apr 3, 2009

Killer's letters apt social study, 40 years on

KASHIWA, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) When Satoshi Kamata heard about a 25-year-old temporary worker going on a stabbing spree in Tokyo’s Akihabara district last June, he was transported back to the late 1960s. “I thought that Norio Nagayama had emerged again after 40 years,” Kamata, ...

Mar 12, 2009

Single-mother households badly hit by slump

The economic slump has severely hit single-mother households because many of these women work as nonregular employees, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations reported at a recent symposium. In another indication of the hardships such households face, a survey by a nonprofit organization that ...

Jan 29, 2009

Legal system defect makes presumed innocence a joke: gallows foe

It’s easy to wrongfully charge innocent people under the legal system because the principle of presumed innocence is a mere slogan, according to a prominent campaigner against the death penalty. “People sometimes admit to offenses they did not commit because if they continue to ...