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What are your reactions to the verdict on rapist Joji Obara?

by Thomasina Larkin

Shinichiro Hara
Real estate agent, 23
Japanese law states that circumstantial evidence isn’t enough and that law is never going to change. I worry about what people in other countries think about Japan and I feel sorry about it.

Melanie Franz
Bank manager, 26 (German)
The court system should have more influence from public opinion and semiprofessionals, like a jury. An odd number of people — maybe sub-judges — should vote to make a decision.

Masaaki Matsubara
Construction worker, 24
It really shows how a Japanese case works. If the “right” proof isn’t there, the judge can’t get a conviction. The legal system doesn’t care about human rights, all it wants to see is physical evidence.

Craig Davis
Banker, 37 (Australian)
I’m pretty sure he (killed Blackman) , but they had no forensic evidence so they couldn’t prove it. Having no jury and only one judge seems bizarre. I wouldn’t want to go to court here.

Tsugumi Eguchi
Student, 21
I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome even though it took such a long time and despite it involving about 10 women. He should have got the death penalty because everyone believes he (killed Blackman).

Michael Duell
Student, 30 (German)
I think the outcome of the case was OK because the guy was sentenced to life imprisonment anyway and there wasn’t enough evidence to prove he murdered (Blackman).