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The National Police Agency said in early June that interrogations of crime suspects were fully recorded in 81.9 percent of all the 3,197 cases tried by lay judges in fiscal 2017, up from 72.8 percent the year before.

The data were released ahead of June 2019 — the deadline for implementing full recording of the entire interrogation process in cases subject to lay judge trials. The reform is being implemented as part of a major overhaul of Japan’s criminal justice system. What are the changes and why are the reforms being put into place? Let’s examine the revisions to the criminal justice system in more detail:

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