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When former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn used his first press conference since fleeing Japan to give the country’s justice system a one-star TripAdvisor review, it drew a collective shrug from the general public. If, as Dostoevsky said, you can judge a society by how it treats its prisoners, I suspect Japan would score highly for indifference.

That’s partly because most people here know little about life behind bars. For years, the closest most Japanese viewers got to a real-life jail cell was via yakuza flicks. Though TV crews now venture inside the country’s jails on a more regular basis, amazingly, “Prison Circle” is the first feature-length documentary to do so.

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