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HOME > Public Statements and Opinion Papers > Opinion Papers > Opinions Concerning Future Policies of the Ministry of Justice in Considering the Introduction of Audio/Video Recording of Interrogations

Opinions Concerning Future Policies of the Ministry of Justice in Considering the Introduction of Audio/Video Recording of Interrogations

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July 15, 2010
Japan Federation of Bar Associations

About

The Ministry of Justice released a report on June 18, 2010, entitled, “The Way Audio/Video Recording of Interrogations of Suspects Should Be: Current Discussions and Future Policies,” based on the outcomes of a study meeting composed of the Minister of Justice, the Senior Vice Minister of Justice, and the Parliamentary Secretary of Justice, as its main members, and a working group headed by the Senior Vice Minister of Justice. Both groups were launched in October 2009, soon after the change of government, under the initiative of the Minister of Justice who had been addressing her intention of bringing about the realization of the transparency of interrogations by audio/video recording.

 

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) considers this report a major setback for the realization of transparency of interrogations (i.e., the introduction of video recording of the enter process of interrogations) and thus it compiled and submitted its opinions to the Minister of Justice on July 20, 2010.

 

Main Points

  1. The report released by the Ministry of Justice, “The Way Audio/Video Recording of Interrogations of Suspects Should Be: Current Discussions and Future Policies,” is seen as a major setback for the realization of transparency of interrogations (i.e., the introduction of video recording of the enter process of interrogations). The present policies should be fundamentally modified.
  2. The Ministry of Justice should sincerely accept the fact that interrogations conducted behind closed doors have caused miscarriages of justice in a large number of cases and immediately commence legislating to bring about the realization of transparent interrogations.
  3. Without waiting for such legislation to be finalized, interrogations of cases subject to saiban-in trials should be immediately videotaped on a trial basis.