NPA urges coroner ranks tripled

Kyodo News

A National Police Agency panel recommended Thursday that coroner ranks should be increased in the next five years from the current 221 to 653 so police will not fail to identify deaths caused by crimes.

It also proposed in its interim report that coroners carry out drug examinations check on all bodies to be examined by police.

While it is necessary to conduct a legal autopsy to appropriately determine a cause of death, the rate of examinations carried out stood at only 10.1 percent last year due to the lack of medical examiners. The panel said the rate should be raised to 20 percent as a first step.