Bizarre justice system poses a risk to visitors to Japan

Japan to introduce GPS trackers to prevent international bail jumping

not a country where I want to go on holiday, they can just detain you for something and then you have to prove that you are innocent, it is strange in Japan in that respect. @annoz

Today  06:14 pm JST  30 CommentsTOKYO

Japan’s government decided Friday to enable courts to order the use of GPS trackers to prevent international bail jumping in the wake of the case of former Nissan Motor Co CEO Carlos Ghosn and other incidents of criminal defendants escaping the country.

While some have voiced concerns about a potential invasion of privacy through utilizing GPS devices in such a way, others are hopeful that it may allow for an increase in the number of people granted bail and curb excessive detentions, something for which Japan is notorious.

By revising the country’s criminal procedure law, the government plans to criminalize suspects who fail to appear in court and those who leave their mandated residence or remove their tracking devices without permission.

The government aims to pass the bill through parliament during the current session. The use of GPS devices will begin within five years from the promulgation of the law.

The move comes after a series of cases in which individuals have escaped while on bail, including Ghosn, 68, who fled to Lebanon from Japan in 2019 after being arrested for allegedly underreporting remunerations and misusing Nissan’s funds.

The GPS monitors are expected to be used for business executives with overseas connections.

“It is extremely difficult to ensure that a person will appear before court once they have fled abroad,” Justice Minister Ken Saito told a press conference on Friday.

“This is the first time Japan has put forward a legal framework for enabling the use of GPS for tracking defendants, and it is important not to allow the system to become muddled,” Saito said.

Those who take their monitors off without permission or enter a prohibited area, such as air or seaports, may be detained and subjected to imprisonment for up to one year — a punishment to be introduced by 2025.

Additionally, a new “supervisor” system will require those designated with responsibility for a defendant to show up to the trial with them, and be responsible for producing reports on how the suspect is faring.

A defendant may be denied bail if the supervisor fails to pay a guarantor’s deposit separate from bail money.

Under the plans, those on bail will be sentenced to up to two years in prison if they fail to appear when summoned by a court, or if they leave their residence for an extended period without permission.

While suspects are currently not required to appear in court during an appeal, the reforms will require them to if they have been indicted for a crime mandating a minimum prison sentence.

Suspects will also be unable to leave the country if they are sentenced to time in prison.

The Japanese government also decided the same day to establish measures in its criminal law reforms that will render victims’ identity anonymous if they are alleged to have been subject to a sexual crime, to protect them from their assailant.’l-bail-jumping


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