May 5, 2014

Improving the lay judge system

As Japan's lay judge system turns 5 years old, the Justice Ministry's Legislative Council is considering excluding citizens from the duty of serving as lay judges when trials are expected to last more than a year.

Mar 21, 2014

Lay judges' moral dilemma

How does Japan's justice minister respond to a petition from 20 citizens who, as lay judges, agonized over the possibility of having to hand down a death sentence? They call for an immediate halt to capital punishment.

Feb 23, 2013

Nonpartisan lawmaker group protests hanging of three inmates

Members of a nonpartisan legislator group seeking to abolish the death penalty lodged a protest Friday with Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki over Thursday’s execution of three death-row inmates. Shizuka Kamei, who heads the group, urged Tanigaki to proactively inform the public about the global ...

Feb 23, 2013

Criteria for hangings remain murky

The Liberal Democratic Party-led government appears reluctant to disclose the criteria under which it chose to execute three men Thursday, the first hangings since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in December. Some observers speculate that two of them were picked out of the ...