The disgraceful detention of Carlos Ghosn by Japan’s prosecutors is a blatant violation of human rights. It is also, from my reading, a breach of a habeus corpus act passed in 1948 to bring Japanese law into line with international juristic standards.

Ghosn’s case is, I am told, far from unusual and the norm, except that his celebrity has exposed this feudal, despotic practice to the world. The strictures of access, comfort and treatment are calculated to intimidate, wear down and wring a “confession” from a suspect in a way that even the Soviet Union would have gained lessons from.

This is no defense of Ghosn. It is, though, an indictment of a society which would abide such a barbarous and uncivilized practice as the 21st century’s first quarter draws to a close. Japan draws much admiration from me. This cruel, primitive and uncivilized persecution is not such a time.


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.

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