Colin P.A. Jones presents a thoughtful take on the role the Constitution plays in Japanese society in “Does the Japanese Constitution mean anything?” in the May 9 edition.

Especially poignant is his take on human rights. Jones highlights some of the discriminatory abuses relating to criminal trials, prisons, detention facilities, the family registry and the slim number of asylum seekers accepted into the country annually that have become accepted as routine functions of the Japanese government. It is therefore hypocritical, he alludes, for those same leaders to turn around and educate the Japanese people on human rights.

If the Justice Ministry interprets and applies human rights differently from how they are guaranteed in the Constitution itself, then the Japanese Human Rights Bureau must also be acting under false pretenses. Hence Jones’s claim that the Japanese legal system is plagued by embedded discrimination. Concern should be as to whether this discrimination spills over into the psyche of the general population.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.