[Nov/29] Criminal Justice in Japan: Is a 99.8% Conviction Rate Too High?

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 29

Time: 12:30 -13:30

Venue: Allard Hall Room 123


Despite heavy criticism, Japan’s criminal conviction rate continues to remain over 99.8%. Some researchers argue that Japanese Judges tend to accept public prosecutors’ allegations without analyzing evidence, but is this true? In this talk Mr. Takai will explain why such views reflect a stereotypic misunderstanding of the Japanese criminal justice process. This will be illustrated through an examination of Japanese criminal procedures, especially focusing on the roles of Japanese public prosecutors. In addition, Mr. Takai will suggest possible alternative reasons for the high conviction rate and discuss recent amendments to allow for the institution of a prosecution by a type of grand jury regardless of the public prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute.

About the Speaker:

Kentaro Takai: Japanese Public Prosecutor

Mr. Kentaro Takai is a Japanese public prosecutor with deep experience in both investigating and prosecuting crimes in Japan. He came to Canada as a member of the Japanese Government Short-Term Overseas Fellowship Program of the National Personnel Authority in 2017 to do research on organized crime and currently is a visiting scholar at the Peter A. Allard School of Law. He received his LL.B. degree from Tokyo University and J.D. from Keio University. He has also joined the international training course held by the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders in 2016.

This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Japanese Research. Light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to cals@allard.ubc.ca