World factbook of criminal justice systems

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Tadashi Moriyama

Takushoku University

This country report is one of many prepared for

the World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems

under Bureau of Justice Statistics grant No.

90-BJ-CX-0002 to the State University of New York

at Albany. The project director was Graeme R.

Newman, but responsibility for the accuracy of the

information contained in each report is that of

the individual author. The contents of these

reports do not necessarily reflect the views or

policies of the Bureau of Justice Statistics or

the U. S. Department of Justice.


1. Political system.
Although Japan has a federal system of

government, it is largely centralized. One reason

for centralization, in addition to racial

homogeneity, is that it is considered very

important for the formal agencies to administer

the political and legal measures equally and on

the same basis over the territory. In fact, apart

from the district traditions and cultures, there

is little difference, at least in the

administration of laws, between the center of

Japan, Tokyo, and the local areas.

The government is fundamentally divided into

executive, legislative, and judicial powers.

There is also a parliamentary Cabinet system,

making the Cabinet a little stronger than the

other two powers.

Development of the contemporary Japanese

political system has been influenced by the

remains of the pre-war political system which was

based on the 19th-century German and British

parliamentary models. The political system has

also been influenced by the Constitution of Japan,

which was largely authored by United States

government advisers early in the post-World War II

occupation. Thus, the substance of the present

political system in Japan is a mixture of these

sources and Japanese traditional factors.

In 1947, a new Constitution, often called the

Peaceful Constitution, was established. It

completely bans any wars and has strongly

influenced legislation passed in Japan during the

post-war period. Constitutional Law moved most

dramatically toward democracy in its dealings with

the imperial family.

2. Legal system.
The Japanese legal system has been

historically influenced by the Continental Laws,

namely, the German Criminal Law and the French

Civil Law. However, after World War II, the

influence of American Law models has become more

dominant in all areas of jurisprudence because of

the closer relationship between United States and

Japan. Areas affected have especially been

Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure Law.

Prior to 1868, when the Meiji Restoration brought

the Western legal systems to Japan, the Japanese

legal system had emulated Chinese laws. Western

laws were introduced by the government during a

period of enthusiasm over the abolition of

treaties with Western countries that contained

unfair provisions for Japan, such as those denying

the right to impose custom duties. Laws that were

imported to Japan were gradually reformed to adapt

to the Japanese nation. Thus, the Japanese legal

system is a blend of the Continental,

Anglo-American and Oriental models.

Japanese tradition tries to avoid disputes,

particularly among community members. Even as the

number of law suits has recently increased,

informal resolution without going to court is

still preferred. Stemming from this aversion

toward legal formalities, the Japanese informal

system is based on mediation and arbitration. In

fact, the number of practicing lawyers totals

12,000 over the entire country. This number is

comparatively small, for a rate of one per 10,000

population versus one per 450 in the United

3. History of the Criminal Justice System.
Before the Meiji Era (1867-1912), the powers

of imperial family members, or the judges they

appointed, possessed a large amount of discretion,

which often resulted in the abuse of power.

Capital punishment was the main measure of dealing

with offenders in the criminal justice system.

Under feudalism, authorities frequently used the

death penalty against political rivals. However,

after the Meiji Era, as Western culture was

introduced, the government established new laws

reflecting a gradually modernizing Japanese

society. In 1907, criminal law and prison law

were passed in an effort to bring Japan into line

with Western countries. However, the rights of

offenders did not become a main issue in the

criminal justice system until the post-war period.

Based on the new Constitution, Criminal

Procedure Law was radically changed toward the

adoption of an adversarial system. Under this

system, the roles of the police, the prosecutor,

and the judge changed. Unfortunately, immediately

following this innovation, a series of cases

resulted in a miscarriage of justice partly

because the police were not accustomed to the new


Although a jury system came into force in

1939, it was practically never used because of

inflexibility in the ongoing criminal justice

system at that time. In addition, professional

judges have always enjoyed a high level of trust

in Japanese society. After the war, the police

began to carry guns instead of sabers, according

to the advice of the United States.

Arguments were frequently made for reforming

the main laws such as the Criminal Law (1907), the

Juvenile Law (1947) and the Prisons Law (1907).

However, plans for reform were controversial

because they addressed delicate issues, such as

the introduction of protective measures to

Criminal Law, juvenile punishment, or the

abolition of the practice of imprisoning

defendants in police cells. Japanese society is

relatively conservative in its approach to reforms

and is generally inclined to oppose them. The

government attempts to reform older laws by

issuing a series of supplements.


1. Classification of Crime.
*Legal classification. The three main categories

of crime under the Japanese Criminal Law are

crimes against the state, crimes against society

and crimes against individuals. This law was

passed under the old Constitution which had mainly

focused on the power of the emperor and the state.

As a result, crimes against the imperial family

and the state were highly emphasized. While

crimes against the imperial family were abolished

after World War II, the fundamental structure of

this law was little changed. Since there has been

no complete revision of the law, the law remains

fairly antiquated on the surface.

The criminal justice system reflects the

state's task of protecting individual interests in

daily life. Crimes against life, person, and

freedom include homicide, assault, bodily injury,

forcible rape, indecent assault, and kidnapping.

Crimes against property include theft, fraud,

robbery, extortion, and embezzlement. The concept

of theft has a very broad meaning and includes

burglary, shoplifting, and stealing the goods in a

car. Stealing bicycles from in front of railway

stations is a typical theft according to criminal

statistics. Crimes which significantly cause

social disorder, like arson, indecent behavior in

the public, and gambling, are usually placed in a

category of crimes against society. Bribery is

considered a crime against the state.

Special laws include firearms and sword

control law, laws for regulating business that

affects public morals, anti-prostitution laws,

anti-organized crime laws, and road traffic laws.

There are a large number of traffic offenses,

indicating serious problems on roads in Japan.

Annually, there are 11,000 deaths caused by

traffic accidents. After a controversy involving

citizen's freedom of association in 1992, an

anti-organized crime law was passed in 1992, which

regulated the activity of Boryokudan crime

*Age of criminal responsibility. Persons younger

than 20 years of age are legally considered

juveniles. According to the Juvenile Law,

juvenile cases go to Family court. The court

subsequently determines the need to subject the

juvenile concerned to protective measures and the

most beneficial treatment for the juvenile.

Possible measures include placement under the

supervision of probation officers, commitment to a

child education or training home or a house for

dependent children, and commitment to a juvenile

training school. The Juvenile Law states that

juvenile cases should be in principle separated

from adult cases in terms of their future

development. Although there are exceptions,

juveniles are criminally prosecuted when the case

involves a certain punishment in response to a

very serious offense.

*Drug offenses. There are special laws regulating

cannabis, narcotics and psychotropics, stimulants

and opium. Drug regulations cover punishment for

the use, trade, possession, and production of

drugs. In the 1990's a new drug regulation was

introduced to conform to the standards of the

United Nations. Toluene, thinner, and bonding

substances are regulated by special law as well.

Their abuse is a serious problem among the youth,

partly because of their cheap price.

Drug abuse in Japanese society largely stems

from the use of amphetamine, which is largely

imported from other Asian countries. Organized

crime is involved in the handling and production

of amphetamines and has become rich from this


2. Crime statistics.
Police, prosecution, court, correction and

after-care divisions each publish their own

statistics as a yearbook. The Ministry of Justice

summarizes their statistics and publishes a book,

White Paper on Crime. Because of the nationwide

unitary system of these agencies, such a complete

portrayal of the crime situation in Japan is

possible. The number of reported crimes which

follows is derived from the summary of the White

Paper on Crime, for 1990.

*Murder. In 1990, there were 1,238 cases of

homicide reported to the police.

*Rape. In 1990, there were 1,548 cases of rape

reported to the police.

*Larceny. In 1990, there were 1,444,067 cases of

larceny reported to the police.

*Serious drug offense. Information not obtained.
*Crime regions. Information not obtained.


1. Groups most victimized by crime.
There is very little data collected

officially or privately about victims or

victimization. By nature, victimization in Japan

is generally not partial to a particular area,

class, sex or age. However, according to a

special survey, aged persons are victimized at a

comparatively high rate by burglary, vandalism,

and traffic offenses. (White Paper on Crime, 1991:

2. Victims' assistance agencies.
There are a few private organizations which

financially assist victims. In light of the

emphasis on family in the community, victims have

tended to be assisted by their family members or

relatives, or other community members. They are,

at times, compensated by the offenders themselves

or the offender's family. There are also

organizations to help with psychological

counseling for the victims of forcible rape,

traffic accidents and child abuse.

3. Role of victim in prosecution and sentencing.
Information not obtained.
4. Victims' rights legislation.
In 1981, a victim-oriented law came into

force, similar to the systems of New Zealand and

Britain. This law provides that the state will

financially assist the victim, or, in cases of

violent crimes, the bereaved family. The amount

of monetary benefit roughly ranges from 10,000 to

20,000 U.S. dollars, but, in 1990, although 42,000

violent crimes had occurred only 264 persons

received this benefit. Thus, administration of

this system seems problematic; few persons in the

general public have knowledge about it.

1. Administration.

The Police Law, enacted in 1945, in

conforming with principles such as rule of law and

local autonomy, aims at providing an efficient

police structure on a democratic base. The police

structure consists of the national police and the

prefectural police. Formerly, most police

agencies functioned as guards for the imperial

family. Now, there is a mix of centralization and

decentralization in that police administration is

the responsibility of prefectural governments.

The national level police organizations are

the National Police Safety Commission (NPSC) and

the National Police Agency (NPA). Since the NPSC

makes basic policy and the NPA administers police

affairs, the NPSC has control over the NPA. The

NPSC is a governmental body responsible mainly for

the administrative supervision of the police and

coordination of police administration. It also

oversees matters relating to police education,

communication, criminal identification, criminal

statistics and police equipment. To ensure its

independence and neutrality, not even the Prime

Minister is empowered to direct and give orders to

the NPSC.

The NPA, which is headed by a Director

General, maintains Regional Police Bureaus as its

local agencies throughout the country. There are

seven bureaus in the major cities, excluding Tokyo

and the northern island of Hokkaido. Police law

stipulates that each prefectural government, which

is a local entity, shall have its own Prefectural

Police (PP). The PP is supervised by the

Prefectural Public Safety Commission, which

carries out all police duties within the

boundaries of the prefecture. In practice, the PP

forces are located in each of the 47 prefectures.

The National Police Academy, the National Research

Institute of Police Science and the Imperial Guard

Headquarters are also organizations affiliated

with the NPA.

In addition, the Koban system provides local

residents with safety and peace through daily

contacts of police officers with residents in the

area. Originally created by the Japanese police,

this system has been recently adopted by countries

such as Germany and Singapore. However, its

success depends on the human relationship between

the police officers and the community people. At

times, there is an excess of intervention by

police. The Koban system rests on approximately

15,000 police boxes (Hasshusho) and residential

police boxes (Chuzaisho) located throughout the

2. Resources.
*Expenditures. There are two types of police

budgets: the national budget and the prefectural

budget. The national police budget covers the

expenditures of the NPA relevant to the execution

of duties under its jurisdiction, including

personnel costs, expenses incurred by the

prefectural police which are shouldered by the

state, and subsidies to the PP. Expenditures

needed by the PP to carry out their duties are

appropriated in the budget of each prefecture.

In 1992, the NPA budget totalled 213,464

billion yen and the PP budget totalled 2,992,454

million yen (270 billion USD).

The total National Police Agency Budget for

the 1990 fiscal year was 198,420 billion yen, of

which 41.5% (82,282 billion yen) went toward

personnel expenses, 14.5% (28,870 billion yen)

went toward equipment, communications, and

facilities, 18.2% (36,149 billion yen) were

allocated toward other expenses, and 25.8% (51,119

billion yen) went toward subsidies for Prefectural

Police. In all, 74.2% of the total (147,301

billion yen) went toward NPA expenses.
*Number of police. The NPA and the PP personnel

forces are composed of police officers, officers

of the Imperial Guard Headquarters, and civilian

employees such as clerical workers and technical

engineers. In 1990, there were about 258,800

authorized full-time police personnel. The ratio

of police to population is about one officer to

556 citizens.

The NPA is comprised of approximately 7,600

personnel, of whom 1,200 are police officers, 900

are Imperial Guards and 5,500 are civilian

personnel. The 47 PP forces have a total strength

of approximately 250,000, of whom 220,000 are

police officers and 30,000 are civilians.

There are approximately 4,200 female police

officers (1.6%), whose role has been growing in

importance. In addition, there are about 14,000

female civilians, of whom about 3,100 are traffic

control personnel and juvenile guidance personnel

engaged in on-the-street juvenile control.

3. Technology.
*Availability of police automobiles. Motor

vehicles are assigned to all police boxes

throughout the country. Because of their

mobility, they are useful in handling emergency

cases, investigating criminal activity, and

enforcing traffic control. As of 1994, there are

approximately 26,000 police motor vehicles,

including 5,000 patrol cars, 3,000 traffic police

motorcycles, 5,000 vehicles employed for criminal

investigation and 2,500 transport vehicles. In

addition, about 200 police boats and 60

helicopters are assigned to each jurisdiction.

*Electronic equipment. Network technology

includes police telephone circuits, facsimile, an

integrated system for police activities, a

communication command system and mobile radio

system, portable radio sets, a communication

satellite, and multi-channel mobile telephone

*Weapons. After World War II, the United States

advised Japanese police to require individual

police officers to carry guns, whereas they used

to carry only sabers. However, few guns are

actually used. One problem is that offenders may

initially attack police in order to obtain guns.

4. Training and Qualifications.
Recruited police officers must immediately

attend a three-part training course, consisting of

preservice, on-the-job, and a comprehensive

training course. Those recruited by the PP are

enrolled in a 1-year preservice training course at

their respective police academies.

5. Discretion.
*Use of force. Information not obtained.
*Stop/apprehend a suspect. Information not


*Decision to arrest. Information not obtained.
*Search and seizure. Information not obtained.
*Confessions. Admissions of testimony in court

may not include confessions made under compulsion,

torture or threat, or after prolonged detention or

confinement. Conviction or punishment cannot be

permitted where the only proof against the

defendant is his or her own confession.

6. Accountability.
Information not obtained.


1. Rights of the accused.
*Rights of the accused. The Constitution is the

source of individual rights in the setting of

criminal investigations and trial. Article 31

declares, "No person shall be derived of life or

liberty, nor shall any other penalty be imposed,

except according to procedure established by law,"

which is regarded as the principle of due process.

Article 33 covers protection from illegal arrest:

"no person shall be arrested except upon a warrant

issued by a competent judicial official, which

specifies the offense with which a person is

charged...,". Article 34 protects persons from

illegal confinement and Article 35 protects

persons from illegal deprivation of residence and


Provisions directly governing trial

proceedings provide that admissions of testimony

must be compelling. There are also rights

guaranteeing a speedy and public trial, full

opportunity to examine all witnesses, and legal

counsel by lawyers employed by the state if the

accused cannot afford a private lawyer. In

addition, a person cannot incur criminal liability

if the act was lawful at the time it was

committed, and cannot be subject to conviction for

the same crime twice (double jeopardy).

*Assistance to the accused. The state must

provide legal counsel if the defendant cannot

afford a private lawyer.
2. Procedures.
*Preparatory procedures for bringing a suspect to

trial. Procedure in criminal prosecutions is

uniform throughout Japan, and based primarily on

the 1948 Code of Criminal Procedure and the 1949

Rules of Criminal Procedure under the

Constitutional Law, reflecting Anglo-American

legal concepts in contexts important to the

protection of human rights.

When police investigation is completed,

police must refer the matter, including the

evidentiary data, immediately to a public

prosecutor. If the matter involves confining a

suspect, they must refer the case to the public

prosecutor within 48 hours of the suspect's arrest

after which a determination is made concerning

pre-trial detention.

The jury system has, for all practical

purposes, been suspended. There are no procedures

equivalent to a guilty plea. That is, even if the

defendant acknowledges guilt, the prosecutor must

submit evidence to establish guilt. Further,

since the Japanese procedural system does not

include pre-sentence investigations and reports by

probation officers, evidentiary data bearing on

the sentencing must be presented by the parties to

the case, to be supplemented by the court's own

inquiries. In this context, the court is the

exclusive trier of fact, which consists of the

physical evidence and, when that is the case, the

confession of the accused as well as any witnesses

*Official who conducts prosecution. Only

prosecutors are empowered to institute the

prosecution of a criminal case and to direct the

enforcement of criminal sentences. They have a

large amount of discretion in controlling and

directing criminal cases. (Japanese Criminal

Procedure Code, Art.248). Accordingly, they have

the power to suspend prosecution even when they

can prove the offender committed a crime.

They can also investigate all categories of

criminal cases on their own initiative, without

assistance from the police and other law

enforcement agencies. Special cases, such as

bribery involving highly placed government

officials or corporate crimes involving a breach

of trust by executives are often investigated by

prosecutors. The increasing frequency of the

occurrence of these special cases have emphasized

the importance of the prosecutor's investigative


Under the Supreme Public Prosecution Office

are 8 higher offices, 50 district offices and 810

local offices. As of 1990, there were about 1,100

prosecutors and 900 assistant public officers, who

are all appointed by the central government.
* Alternatives to trial. Information not


*Proportion of prosecuted cases going to trial.

Japan has a low rate of acquittals and high rate

of convictions. In 1988, there were 57,790

accused persons tried in first-instance courts, of

which only 50 (0.01%) were found not guilty.

Defense lawyers generally prefer the introduction

of mitigating circumstantial evidence rather than

arguing with the prosecutor. In addition, both

practicing lawyers and judges regard criminal

cases as being less attractive than other types of

*Pre-trial incarceration conditions. If the

public prosecutor believes that continued

detention of the accused is needed, he or she must

apply to a judge for a warrant of detention. This

warrant must be applied for within 24 hours after

police transfer to the prosecutor, or a maximum of

72 hours from the time of arrest.

If reasonable grounds to detain a suspect

exist, the judge must promptly issue a warrant or

order of detention at a maximum of 10 days before

prosecution is instituted. Reasonable grounds are

determined by three criteria: 1) whether the

suspect has a fixed dwelling, 2) whether the

suspect might destroy evidence and; 3) whether he

might flee the jurisdiction.
*Bail Procedure. Information not obtained.
*Proportion of pre-trial offenders incarcerated.

Information not obtained.


1. Administration.
Supreme Court. The hierarchy of the court

structure in Japan places the Supreme Court at the

highest level, under which High courts and

District courts are located in their own

jurisdictions. The Supreme Court exercises

appellate jurisdiction. The Grand Bench of the

Supreme Court deals mainly with the constitutional

affairs and the Petty Bench deals with the rest.

High Courts. High courts are located in 8 major

cities, with each court having jurisdiction over

one of the 8 regions into which Japan is divided.

As a rule, their jurisdiction extends to appeals

rendered against the judgments of district courts,

family courts and summary courts.

District Courts. There are 50 district courts

handling cases within a judicial district, or the

geographical area which corresponds to a given

prefecture. The courts are subdivided into 201

branches. District courts are generally primary

courts of first-instance or original jurisdiction.

They do not hear family court and summary court

Summary Courts. Summary courts are located in

cities, towns and villages and have original

jurisdiction in criminal cases involving offenses

punishable by a fine or lesser punishment, and

other minor offenses such as theft of bicycles.

There are 452 Summary courts.
2. Special Courts.
Family Courts. Family courts are established in

each judicial district, and deal with cases of

juvenile delinquency and family concerns, such as

domestic affairs.

3. Judges.
*Number of judges. The Supreme Court consists of

the Chief Justice and 14 Justices, of which one is

female. There are a total of about 280 High court

judges. The District Courts are staffed by about

910 judges and 460 assistant judges. There are

about 800 Summary court judges throughout the

*Appointment and qualifications. The recruitment

system in the Japanese judicial agencies is based

on the National Judicial Examination. Candidates

for judgeships, prosecutors, and practicing

lawyers must pass this national level examination.

The examination is so competitive that only 700 in

24,000 candidates pass yearly. The average age of

the candidates is 29. After the candidates pass

the exam, they train for their profession for two

years at the Training Institute.


1. Sentencing Process.
*Who determines the sentence? Information not


*Is there a special sentencing hearing?

Information not obtained.

*Which persons have input into the sentencing

process? Information not obtained.

2. Types of Penalties.
*Range of penalties. Under Japanese Criminal Law,

there are six main penalties: death, imprisonment

with labor, imprisonment without labor, fines

(more than 10,000 yen), penal detention (short

imprisonment up to 30 days), and minor fines (less

than 10,000 yen).

There are also supplementary penalties, such

as the forfeiture or confiscation of physical

objects used in the commission of offenses or

obtained as a result of the crime.

*Death penalty. There are 14 categories of

offenses punishable by the death penalty, but in

practice only murder and robbery that results in

the death of the victim, result in a death

penalty. The Juvenile Law prohibits the death

penalty from being imposed on anyone below 18

years old.

The method of execution is hanging. In

recent years, use of the death penalty has been

controversial and there has been a movement toward

its abolition. This movement has been powered in

part by the United Nations' decision on abolition

and a series of cases in which miscarriages of

justice occurred. However, polls indicate that

the general public approves of the death penalty.

From 1988 to 1992, the number of defendants

sentenced to capital punishment has decreased.

Executions substantially depend on the will of the

Minister of Justice. In the 3 years between 1990

and March 1993, there were no executions. Since

March of 1993, seven prisoners have been executed.

Presently, there are many in prison awaiting

execution. The numbers of inmates sentenced to

capital punishment in recent times are: 12 (1988),

5 (1989), 6 (1990), 5 (1991), and 5 (1992).


1. Description.
*Number of prisons and type. In 1992, there were

59 prisons, 8 juvenile prisons, 3 medical prisons,

7 detention centers, 8 branch prisons, 2 medical

branch prisons, and 107 branch detention centers

throughout Japan. Juvenile correctional

institutions include 54 juvenile training schools,

52 juvenile classification homes, and 1 branch

juvenile classification home. There are 6

prisons for females.

Not until 1969 were open prisons first

established in Japan. When the United Nations

Congress on Crime Prevention and Treatment of

Offenders was held in Kyoto in 1970, the

government planned to build the open prisons

exclusively for offenders convicted of traffic

offenses, which are considered serious offenses in

Japan. In 1989, there were eight institutions for

traffic offenders. For the other offenders,

open-type "live in" camps serve as a form of

intermediate prison for persons whose release is

*Number of prison beds. As of the end of 1992,

there were 63,773 prisoners, using 70.7% of prison

bed capacity.

Because of the shortage of prison cells for

nonconvicted persons, the Prison Law police cells

to be used even after persons are committed to a

prosecuting agency. However, this situation

threatens human rights in that the persons

concerned cannot communicate with other persons

from inside the police cell. Cases resulting in a

miscarriage of justice have occurred involving

police pressure to extract a confession. Due to

financial reasons, the Ministry of Justice has

emphasized the difficulty of constructing more

prison cells. In light of the international

criticism given to this situation (Daiyo-Kangoku),

it is expected that the government will eventually

decrease the use of police cells and construct

more prison cells.
*Number of annual admissions. In 1992, a total of

22,296 persons were newly admitted to penal

institutions, of which 20,864 were newly sentenced

prisoners. Also in 1992, 4,356 juvenile school

trainees and 1,051 inmates of juvenile

classification homes were admitted.

*Average daily population/number of prisoners. In

1992, the average daily population of prisoners

was 44,875, of which 37,522 were convicted


*Actual or estimated proportions of inmates

incarcerated. Information not obtained.

2. Administration.
*Administration. All prisons are administered by

the central government, that is, by the

Correctional Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

There are no local or private prisons.

*Number of prison guards. In 1989, penal

institutions in Japan were staffed by about 17,000

officials and employees, which included 820

governors, 1,500 assistant governors, 12,000

guards and 1,200 specialists. Among the 2,500

staff members of juvenile training schools, there

were 130 administrators, 2,000 instructors, 90

medical specialists, and 1,200 other staff

members. Among the 1,200 staff members of

juvenile classification homes, there were 120

administrative officers and 230 classification

specialists and instructors.

*Training and qualifications. Information not


*Expenditure on prison system. Information not


3. Prison conditions.
*Remissions. While probation procedures can be

conducted by volunteer persons or groups, the

situation of offender after-care is more

formalized. The Rehabilitation Bureau of the

Ministry of Justice officially administers the

general practices of after-care, such as

probation services, parole supervision and

community-based treatment. However, in reality,

many citizens cooperate with the officers in doing

these tasks. In fact, the number of salaried

probation officers is only 850 throughout all

Japan. This is supplemented with a system of

Volunteer Probation Officers (Hogoshi) which

involves 48,000 volunteer probation officers who

are appointed by the Ministry of Justice. The

officers must be qualified, have a confidence and

reputation in the community, enthusiasm, time,

availability, financial stability and good health.

In 1922, the government adopted the volunteer

probation officer system for treatment of juvenile

delinquency and extended the system's use to adult

treatment after World War II.

Nongovernmental bodies, authorized by the

government organize rehabilitation aid hostels or

halfway-houses which provide accommodation for

offenders released from penal institutions. In

1992, the number of probationers and parolees

totaled 90,419, of which juveniles comprised the

majority of clients.
*Work/education. In principle, treatment in Japan

is based on rehabilitation of offenders, with the

objective of individualized treatment of offenders

to correct their criminal inclination and secure

their reintegration into the community where they

will live. A system of scientific classification

of offenders has been adopted in order to

individualize such treatment. However, this

progressive system, in which an offender gradually

obtains freedom in proportion to his or her

efforts while serving the prison sentence, has

become less useful for rehabilitation because it

has come to be regarded as an absolute necessity

for every prisoner.

In general, most Japanese prisons own their

own factory. Treatment of prisoners is mainly

focused on work in the factory, usually for 8

hours a day.

* Amenities/privileges. Information not



*Extradition. Information not obtained.
*Exchange and transfer of prisoners. Information

not obtained.

*Specified conditions. Information not obtained.

Moriyama T., "Citizen Associations and the

Volunteer Probation Officer", UNICRI (ed.),

(In)formal Mechanisms of Crime Control, 1988.

Moriyama, T. "The Response to Delinquency by

Formal Agencies in Japan", J. Hackler (ed.),

Official responses to Problem Juveniles, the

Onate International Institute, 1991.

National Police Agency. The Police of Japan,


Summary of the White Paper on Crime 1991 Research

and Training Institute of Ministry of


Shkita, M. and Tsuchiya, S., Crime and Criminal

Policy in Japan. (Springer-Verlag), 1992.

Tadashi Moriyana

Associate Professor

Takushoku University

3-4-14 Kohinata, Bunkyo

Tokyo 112

Fax: 81-424-72-9791

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