Five aspects of Japan’s justice system under the microscope, from the demon weed to victims’ rights:
- Alarmed by a recent spike in the number of youngsters using marijuana, Japan’s health ministry is looking to stiffen what is already one of the world’s most draconian anti-cannabis laws. Tomohiro Osaki takes a closer look at the law and how cannabis has been used, or not, in Japan — and why the country is heading in the opposite direction on pot to much of the rest of the world.
- The Finance Ministry is promoting a program to introduce artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge tech to help customs agents crack down on smuggling of illegal drugs. Japan has already started testing a prototype device that can take X-rays of areas such as body cavities and use AI to analyze the results.
- In an interview with Magdalena Osumi, Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa responds to criticism of Japan’s anti-coronavirus border controls and pledges to take steps to restore public trust after scandals and undertake reforms on issues including postdivorce child support.
- After the most heinous crimes, families of the deceased can be the focus by intense, unwelcome media attention. Speaking with the Chunichi Shimbun, Fumiko Isogai, whose daughter was murdered 13 years ago, urges the government to strengthen support for the families of crime victims.
- The National Police Agency is introducing a nationwide system to allow callers to the emergency police number 110 to send video of the incidents such as crimes, accidents and fires from their phones. The system is expected to help officers be better prepared before they reach the scene.