"Guilty Until Proven Innocent: Shaking up Japan's Criminal Justice System"

Shinobu Yamagishi, Former President & CEO, Pressance Corporation
Kana Sasakura, Professor, Faculty of Law, Konan University/ 
Executive Director, Innocence Project Japan
Saroop Ijaz, Senior Counsel, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

May 25, Thursday, 15:00-16:00 (Press Conference)

(The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation.)

Japan boasts a 99 percent criminal conviction rate. But underneath this statistic are cascading allegations of human rights abuses in police custody. The criminal justice system is highly secretive in the way it allows interrogations to be conducted in the absence of an attorney and without surveillance. This makes it difficult to prove human rights violations and police misconduct. Defendants can also be held in custody for 23 days without charge but this can be extended if a defendant is rearrested. The international community has labeled this tactic 'hostage justice'.

Prosecutors in Japan depend heavily on confessions and many defendants are found guilty solely based on a confession. Public trust in the criminal justice system has been rocked by a series of wrongful convictions stemming from coerced confessions during interrogations. The speakers will share the latest survey results of people held in police custody and offer ways to reform Japan's criminal justice system to conform with international standards.

How to attend
Please register at with your name, the name of your media outlet, and FCCJ membership number. Due to space restrictions attendance will be limited. Doors open 15 minutes before the event. Please sign in, giving your name and contact details at the reception, and have your temperature taken before proceeding. 

How to watch online: 
Livestreaming of the press events will be available and video of this event will be uploaded to our FCCJ YouTube channel. 

How to ask questions:
Members watching the event online can submit questions for the speakers in advance using this submission form.

TV crew: Please make a reservation at Doors open for TV crews only at 30 minutes before the event. 

Professional Activities Committee