| Jun 17, 2010

Tapping a golden market

The Chinese tourists had just one hour to shop — not a lot of time when you consider they were at the glitzy VenusFort mall in Tokyo’s fashionable Odaiba waterfront district. The dozens of men and women poured into the mall. Soon, many found ...

Jun 11, 2010

Freelancers OK at Tokyo prosecutor briefings

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office opened its news conference to nonpress club members Thursday, following the example of several ministries that have started allowing freelancers into their regular media briefings. Previously, the prosecutor’s office only allowed in reporters from media outlets who were ...

Jun 1, 2010

Groups push for better refugee treatment

Organizations supporting people seeking asylum in Japan urged the government Monday to improve the treatment of refugees at immigration control centers, two of which have seen hunger strikes by detainees this year. The groups, including Amnesty International Japan, say the Justice Ministry’s policies, including ...

May 28, 2010

Bethune plea: Trespassing on whaler

A Sea Shepherd activist pleaded guilty Thursday at the start of his Tokyo trial to trespassing onto a Japanese research whaling vessel in the Antarctic Ocean in February but denied trying to hurt a crew member. New Zealander Peter Bethune, 45, told the Tokyo ...

May 27, 2010

Greenpeace hits Toshiba, Nintendo

Nintendo Co. and giant Toshiba Corp. ranked among the least environmentally friendly consumer electronics firms, while Nokia and Sony Ericsson led the way in providing green products, according to a report released Wednesday by Greenpeace Japan. The international environmental group released its 15th quarterly ...

May 21, 2010

Year one of lay judge system: all convicted

The lay judge system that debuted last year on May 21 has had a smooth first year, and a 100 percent conviction rate, thanks largely to the conscientious efforts of the de facto jurors, prosecutors said Thursday. With more cases on the way, the ...

Apr 2, 2010

Sugaya case truly flubbed: prosecutors

The wrongful conviction of Toshikazu Sugaya for the 1990 murder of a 4-year-old girl in Tochigi Prefecture was the result of prosecutors’ failure to follow the basic rules of an investigation, the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office admitted Thursday. Despite the lack of sufficient understanding ...

Capital crimes soon to lose statute

| Mar 30, 2010

Capital crimes soon to lose statute

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government recently approved a bill to abolish the statute of limitations on crimes that could be punishable by hanging in a move experts say signals a major shift in the justice system. The bill, which would amend the Criminal ...

Mar 27, 2010

All interrogations must be taped: Sugaya

Toshikazu Sugaya, convicted of murder in 1993 and freed from prison last June, and others believed wrongfully convicted are calling for full videotaping of police interrogations to help prevent crime suspects from being forced to make false confessions. Their demands are shared by defense ...

| Mar 27, 2010

Deck stacked against defendant from the get-go

Had legal professionals over the past two decades followed the basic principles of law and given accused killer Toshikazu Sugaya the benefit of the doubt, he may not have suffered the miscarriage of justice that put him behind bars for more than 17 years, ...