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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Japan

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on Japan's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

Although Japan has a federal system of government, it is largely centralized and is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial powers. The Japanese legal system has been historically influenced by the Continental Laws (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 the United States and Japan. 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. Laws that were imported to Japan were gradually reformed to adapt to that country. Thus, the Japanese legal system is a blend of the Continental, Anglo-American, and Oriental models. Stemming from a cultural aversion toward legal formalities, the Japanese informal system is based on mediation and arbitration. In this report, a section on crime discusses the classification of crime and crime statistics. A section on victims addresses groups most victimized by crime, victims' assistance agencies, the role of victims in prosecution and sentencing, and victims' rights legislation. A section on police focuses on administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, discretion, and accountability. Other sections of the report encompass prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, prisons, and extradition and treaties. 5 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993