I am a 17-year-old high school senior aspiring to be an international lawyer. For me, nothing is more unexpected than the Western mass media’s portrayal of my country as a nation where “hostage justice” is the norm, with every citizen presumed potentially guilty.

I have learned in school that Japan is among the advanced democracies, where people are presumed innocent till proven otherwise and where the justice system is supposed to be a jealous guardian.

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