Hirata trial highlights evolving court system

/ Mar 18, 2014

Hirata trial highlights evolving court system

In the same courtroom where many of his fellow Aum Shinrikyo cult members were tried years before, Makoto Hirata was convicted and sentenced earlier this month. Location aside, the legal process has moved on in the intervening years, from the makeup of the bench to ...

Lay judges get a peek at prison life

Jun 6, 2013

Lay judges get a peek at prison life

When lay judges hand down a prison term, many focus on the merits of the case itself and not about the life behind bars that awaits the guilty. One group of citizens who served as lay judges in criminal trials, however, took a tour of ...

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

May 30, 2013

Tsunami hero continuing disaster education efforts

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, regional governments have been reviewing their disaster plans and enhancing preparations, from boosting buildings' quake resistance to increasing their stockpiles of emergency food and blankets for immediate use. While taking such measures is undoubtedly crucial, Toshitaka Katada, a civil ...

Schools to close but their songs go on

Jan 25, 2013

Schools to close but their songs go on

Music has played an important role in easing the pain of many people in the Tohoku region whose lives were affected by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. But for Sendai-based violinist Satoko Sato and pianist Mitsuhiro Sakakibara, performing for the survivors is ...

/ Jan 16, 2013

Somali pair admit trying to hijack ship

In the first case prosecuted under Japan's 2009 antipiracy law, two Somali men pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tokyo District Court to charges of boarding and attempting to hijack a Bahamas-registered tanker operated by a Japanese shipping company. The ship, sailing in the Indian Ocean off ...

Dismayed Tohoku faces first post-3/11 poll

| Dec 14, 2012

Dismayed Tohoku faces first post-3/11 poll

A mere 15 minutes before Azuma Konno, a Democratic Party of Japan candidate running in Sunday's Lower House election, was set to make a stump speech in front of JR Sendai Station last Friday evening, a 7.4-magnitude quake struck deep off Miyagi's shore, flooding ...

Some election campaign rules outdated, quirky

| Dec 11, 2012

Some election campaign rules outdated, quirky

From Hokkaido to Okinawa Prefecture, 1,504 candidates are campaigning for the 480 seats up for grabs in Sunday's Lower House election. During the 12-day campaigning period, which officially began last Tuesday, the candidates must strictly follow the rules stipulated by the Public Offices Election Law. The ...

The undecided to play key role in poll

| Dec 6, 2012

The undecided to play key role in poll

Terue Ishimura has yet to decide which party she will vote for in the Dec. 16 general election. But one thing is clear — she won't be supporting the ruling Democratic Party of Japan again. Ishimura, a Saitama Prefecture resident in her 60s, voted for ...