Regarding Andrew Dunstan’s March 27 letter, “Smiling faces at trial troubling“: While I fully understand that Dunstan finds it troubling that 3,000 people would turn up for 26 seats available at the trial of a 35-year-old woman accused of murdering her daughter and a neighborhood boy in a small village in Akita Prefecture, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

The local NHK station has continuously, since the arrest of the woman, broadcast her photo, her name, and video sequences even when no new things in particular had come to light.

I sometimes hear Japanese people talk with disgust about the public executions that take place in China. I don’t know how true those claims are, but what does the Akita case say about Japanese public attitudes toward the possibility of an execution? Are they any better than the attitudes in China?

joergen jensen