New Year’s Message (January 1, 2015)
Best wishes for the New Year!
Nine months have already passed since I assumed the post of JFBA President.
During that time, I have been endeavoring to fulfill my duties to the best of my ability, always considering and using the following as a fundamental basis when deciding on JFBA policies and the direction we should take: first, how to improve the position and role of the judicial system in Japan; second, how to establish proper coordination and trust between attorneys, judges, and public prosecutors that will help to enable the first point to come to fruition; and third, how to make and proceed with JFBA assertions and activities founded in the basis of the needs and trust of the public.
Great difficulties are now being faced not only by our society as a whole but also by the judicial system and the legal profession and attorneys in Japan. It is not overstating matters to say that we are at a crossroads where the following matters are being brought into question: whether Japan can continue to be a peaceful and affluent country where all members of the public can live safely; whether the judiciary can fulfill its roles sufficiently and protect people’s lives and rights in an effective manner; and whether the legal profession and attorneys can be a profession which enables the public to live lives full of hope and trust. We should firmly share such situation recognition, and thus pursue the right direction from the points of view of the citizens and the public.
There are multitudes of challenging issues which need to be resolved, such as the reform of the professional legal training and education system, improvement of the judicial foundation, improvement of access to justice, and expansion of the practice fields of legal professionals. It is necessary to develop and enhance coordination between related organizations and a wide variety of related people and parties, as well as to facilitate more constructive discussions among such interested parties.
The most powerful driving forces which help to propel matters forward are the trust and support in the JFBA from the diverse members of the public as well as the strong bond among the members of the JFBA under the banner of the JFBA.
In order to bring about advancements and achieve reform, even if only a minor amount, I sincerely strive to use all the force at our disposal to address issues which need to be reformed.
This year again, I would like to ask for your continued support and cooperation.
Susumu Murakoshi, JFBA President