A trial may proceed even if the accused does not understand what is happening or being said. Foreign detainees frequently claimed that police urged them to sign statements in Japanese that they could not read and were not translated adequately. The Japanese Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press.
In theory, an independent press, an effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political system combine to ensure freedom of speech and of the press. However, Japan's system of exclusive press clubs has been criticised by press freedom groups. The clubs often provide major media outlets with exclusive access to news sources, while generally barring foreign and freelance reporters. The clubs provide the establishment press with access to official press conferences and background briefings with politicians, lawyers and business leaders.
Critics say the club system allows the authorities to suppress news that they consider unfavorable to them and that it lowers the quality of news coverage. Journalists, commentators and media experts say that news outlets are now censoring their own coverage or removing critical voices to avoid drawing official ire. Under Article 4 of the Broadcasting Law, Japanese television broadcasting requires political fairness, and there are penalties such as license revocation.
This law has existed since before the Abe administration. The license revocation issue was an answer to the opposition party's question on the Broadcasting law. Ichiro Furutachi is a journalist who lost his job. The Constitution provides for the freedom of assembly and association, and the Government generally respects these rights in practice. The Constitution provides for freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all.
No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority. Members of the Unification Church alleged that police did not respond to allegations of forced deprogramming of church members. While deprogramming cases decreased during the year, a Unification Church spokesman reported that prosecutors dropped two cases due to insufficient evidence. Although one member reportedly was kidnapped by her family during the year, the Unification Church did not report the case to police.
Concerns remained regarding the tendency of officials to judge deprogramming as a family matter. Unlike in previous years, Jehovah's Witnesses reported that their religious rights were respected by the Government during the year. The Constitution provides for the freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, immigration, and repatriation, and the Government generally respects them in practice.
Citizens have the right to travel freely both within the country and abroad, to change their place of residence, to emigrate, and to repatriate voluntarily. Citizenship may be forfeited by naturalization in a foreign country or by failure of persons born with dual nationality to elect citizenship at the required age. The law does not permit forced exileand it is not used. The law provides for the granting of refugee status or asylum to persons in accordance with the U. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees or its Protocol.
In practice, the government provided protection against refoulement, the return of persons to a country where they feared persecution, but did not routinely grant refugee or asylum status. The Government cooperated with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees. In Maythe Diet passed a bill abolishing the day application deadline previously required for aliens seeking refugee status.
The previous refugee recognition law stipulated that those seeking refugee status had to apply within 60 days upon arriving in Japan or within 60 days of learning that they were likely to be persecuted in their home country. An alien recognized as a refugee has access to educational facilities, public relief and aid, and social welfare benefits. Government records indicated thatpersons were detained in at immigration detention centers.
According to media reports, several deportations were carried out in secret. In July, two Kurdish families staged a day protest against their deportation orders in front of the United Nations University in Tokyo.
As ofthe government has granted refugee and asylum status to those claiming fear of persecution in only a small number of cases. The Government considered that most persons seeking asylum in the country did so for economic reasons. Inthere were approximately 7, refugees and asylum seekers in the country, of whom an estimated 7, were Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. Out of refugee claims submitted inthe Government granted asylum to 10 persons from BurmaBurundiand Iran and issued long-term residence permits based on humanitarian considerations to As part of its ongoing family-reunification program for close relatives of Indochinese refugees resettled in earlier years, the Government admitted refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia in In Maya law was passed granting the Justice Minister authority to issue temporary stay permits to persons seeking asylum.
In Januarythe Immigration Bureau began to give detailed, written explanations of decisions not to grant refugee status to asylum-seekers and opened an information office at Narita Airport for potential asylum seekers. The Constitution provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully, and citizens exercised this right in practice through periodic, free, and fair elections held on the basis of universal suffrage.
The country is a parliamentary democracy governed by the political party or parties able to form a majority in the lower house of its bicameral Diet. Except for a brief hiatus in the s, the LDP has been the dominant party in every government since the mids. The last general elections were held in on September 11,and elections for the Upper House were held in July According to National Police Agency figures for January through Junethere were 43 arrests involving political corruption for such charges as bribery, bid-rigging, and violation of the Political Funds Control Law.
This was an increase of 14 cases from the previous year for the same time period. As of Septemberthere were two women in the Cabinet. As of April4 of the country's 47 governors were women.
The Constitution prohibits discrimination of citizens on the basis of race, creed, gendersocial status, or family origin; non-citizens are not protected from these forms of discrimination by the constitution nor the law as of Violence against women, particularly domestic violenceoften goes unreported due to social and cultural concerns about shaming one's family or endangering the reputation of one's spouse or children.
NPA statistics on violence against women probably understated the magnitude of the problem. According to NPA statistics, there were 12, cases of alleged domestic violence and 1, restraining orders issued in Police took action in 41 cases in which court orders were violated.
Between April and September, the preferential consultation centers received 24, cases of domestic violence consultations. Of the totalconsultations since fiscal The law allows district courts to impose 6-month restraining orders on perpetrators of domestic violence and to sentence violators up to 1 year in prison or impose fines of up to 1 million yen. According to Supreme Court figures from January through September1, applications for restraining orders against abusive spouses were sought, and 1, were issued.
The law also covers common-law marriages and divorced individuals; it also encourages prefectures to expand shelter facilities for domestic abuse victims and stipulates that local governments offer financial assistance to 40 private institutions already operating such shelters.
The revision to the Law for the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims passed in May expanded the definition of spousal violence to include mental, sexual, and physical abuse and increased the length of restraining orders from 2 weeks to 2 months. That article requires a husband and wife to adopt the same surname. NPA statistics reported 2, rapes in In light of several high-profile gang rapes in involving college students at Waseda University, the Upper House passed a bill in December making gang rape an offense punishable by a minimum penalty of 4 years in prison.
In Novembera former student was sentenced to 14 years in prison for raping two women at a party organized by the " Super Free " student group, as well as a third woman in December All 13 other defendants received jail sentences of up to 10 years. Many local governments responded to the need for confidential assistance for abused women by establishing special women's consultation departments in police and prefectural offices.
Local governments and private rail operators continued to implement measures designed to address the widespread problem of groping and molestation of female commuters. Several railway companies have introduced women-only rail cars on various trains, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly revised its anti-groping ordinance to make first-time offenders subject to imprisonment.
The Constitution and the Equal Employment Opportunity EEO Law aims to prohibit sexual discrimination; however, sexual harassment in the workplace remains widespread. The National Personnel Authority has established workplace rules in an effort to stop harassment in public servants' workplaces. A revision to the EEO Law includes measures to identify companies that fail to prevent sexual harassment, but it does not include punitive measures to enforce compliance, other than allowing names of offending companies to be publicized.
A number of government entities have established hotlines and designated ombudsmen to handle complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment. Women made up Although the Labor Standards and the EEO laws prohibit wage discrimination, inthe average hourly wage for women was only Much of this disparity resulted from the "two-track" personnel administration system found in most larger companies under which new hires were put either in the managerial track for those perceived as having executive potential or the general track for those engaged in basic office work.
Advocacy groups for women and persons with disabilities continued to press for a government investigation, a formal government apology, and compensation for compulsory sterilizations that were carried out between and Several cases filed by women forced to work as " comfort women " women and girls forced into sexual slavery during World War II were finalized during In February, [ when?
In December the Tokyo High Court dismissed an appeal by 4 Chinese former "comfort women",  and the Supreme Court rejected a suit filed in by 46 Filipina wartime "comfort women". Boys and girls have equal access to health care and other public services. Education is mostly free and compulsory through the lower secondary level age 14 or ninth grade.
Education was available widely to students who met minimum academic standards at the upper secondary level through the age of Children under the age of 14 cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions. Under juvenile lawjuvenile suspects are tried in family court and have the right of appeal to an appellate court.
Family court proceedings are not open to the public, a policy that has been criticized by family members of juvenile crime victims. For the last several years, juvenile crime has shown a trend toward more serious offenses such as murderrobberyarsonand rape. The Tokyo prefectural government continued programs to protect the welfare of stateless children, whose births their illegal immigrant mothers had refused to register for fear of forcible repatriation.
Public attention has focused increasingly on reports of frequent child abuse in the home. The law also bans abuse under the guise of discipline and obliges teachers, doctors, and welfare officials to report any suspicious circumstances to 1 of the nationwide local child counseling centers or to a municipal welfare center. In Maythe Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare reported that children died as a result of child abuse since the enactment of the Child Abuse Prevention Law in Child welfare centers likewise reported a record 26, calls inan increase of 2, calls from the previous year.
Most of the local governments declining the subsidies stated they could not afford to pay their share of the bill. On July 20,a report by HRW revealed that child athletes in Japan have routinely suffered physical, sexual and verbal abuse from their coaches, which led some of them to take their own lives. Incidents of violence in schools, severe bullying "ijime" and bullycide also continued to be a societal and government concern.
In all 35, violent acts were committed in public elementary, junior highand high schools during the academic year. Overall, cases of bullying rose 5. In June, a sixth grader murdered her classmate, and a junior high school student pushed a 5-year-old boy off the fourth floor of an apartment building.
The MOJ's Office of the Ombudsman for Children's Rights provided counseling services for children 18 years of age and younger who had been victims of bullying. In May, [ when? Teenage prostitution, dating for money, and child pornography continue to be problems. According to the Cabinet Office's white paper, there were sex-related crimes associated with dating sites during the year.
Easy access to websites through mobile phones with Internet access made it easier for strangers to set up encounters with juveniles. In Julythe Diet passed a law criminalizing the use of the Internet for child pornography and prostitution. The Constitution prohibits holding persons in bondage, and the government employed a variety of labor and immigration statutes to carry out limited trafficking-related prosecutions; however, there are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons.
In April, the government created a senior coordinator presiding over an inter-ministerial committee for anti-trafficking efforts. In December, the Government released its Action Plan to combat trafficking in persons.
Focusing on prevention, prosecution, and protection of trafficking victims, the Action Plan calls for a review of "entertainer" visas, strengthened immigration control, revision of the penal code to make trafficking in persons a crime, and added protection of victims through shelters, counseling, and repatriation assistance.
Trafficking of women and girls into the country has been a problem. The country was a destination for illegal immigrants from China who were trafficked by organized crime groups and held in debt bondage for sexual exploitation and indentured servitude in sweatshops and restaurants. The Government reported that some smugglers used killings and abduction to enforce cooperation. Although reliable statistics on the number of women trafficked to the country were unavailable, human rights groups reported that up topersons, mostly Southeast Asian women, are smuggled annually into the country and forced to work in the sex industry.
Inthe NPA arrested 41 individuals for trafficking-related offenses, 8 of whom were traffickers. Of these individuals, 36 were convicted, 14 received prison terms, 17 received fines, and 5 received both a fine and prison term. In February17 prefecture police offices and the Tokyo Metropolitan police simultaneously raided 24 strip clubs and rescued 68 trafficking victims.
During the year, efforts were underway to improve screening of travelers arriving in Japan from key source countries of trafficking and to tighten the issuance of "entertainer" visas, which are often used by traffickers. The government does not consider an individual who has willingly entered into an agreement to work illegally in the country to be a trafficking victim, regardless of that person's working conditions.
Thus, government figures may understate Tokyo Power Violence - Slight Slappers - A Selfish World Called Freedom (Vinyl problem, as persons who agreed to one kind of work found themselves doing another, or were subject to force, fraud, or coercion. LP were prosecuted for crimes ranging from violations of employment law to immigration violations. A government-funded study released in found that nearly two-thirds of foreign women surveyed following arrests for immigration offenses reported that they were working in the sex industry under duress.
Many women who were trafficked into the country, particularly from the Philippines, entered legally on entertainment visas. Brokers in the countries of origin recruited women and "sold" them to intermediaries, who in turn subjected them to debt bondage and coercion. Agents, brokers, and employers involved in trafficking for sexual exploitation often had ties to organized crime.
Women trafficked to the country generally were employed as prostitutes under coercive conditions in businesses licensed to provide commercial sex services. Sex entertainment businesses are classified as "store form" businesses such as strip clubs, sex shops, hostess bars, and private LP rooms, and as "nonstore form" businesses such as escort services and mail order video services, which arrange for sexual services to be conducted elsewhere.
According to NGOs and other credible sources, most women who were trafficked to the country for the purpose of sexual exploitation were employed as hostesses in "snack" bars, where they were required to provide sexual services off-premises.
Trafficking victims generally did not realize the extent of their indebtedness, the amount of time it would take them to repay the debts, or the conditions of employment they would be subjected to upon arrival.
According to Human Rights Watch, the passports of women trafficked to work in "dating" bars usually were confiscated by their employers, who also demanded repayment for the cost of the woman's "purchase". Typically, the women were charged 3 to 5 million yen, their living expenses, medical care when provided by the employer and other necessities, as well as "fines" for misbehavior added to the original "debt" over time. How the debt was calculated was left to the employers; the process was not transparent, and the employers reportedly often used the debt to coerce additional unpaid labor from the trafficked women, LP.
Employers also sometimes "resold", or threatened to resell, troublesome women or women found to be HIV positive, thereby increasing their debt and possibly worsening their working conditions.
Many women trafficked into the sex trade had their movements strictly controlled by their employers and were threatened with reprisals, perhaps through members of organized crime groups, to themselves or their families if they tried to escape. Employers often isolated the women, subjected them to constant surveillance, and used violence to punish them for disobedience.
There were reports that some brokers used drugs to subjugate victims. Many Album) women also knew that they were subject to arrest if found without their passports or other identification documents. Few spoke Japanese well, making escape even more difficult. Domestic NGOs and lawyers also compiled credible anecdotal evidence suggesting the possibility that some individual police officials returned trafficking victims to their employers when these individuals sought police protection.
NGOs also reported that police sometimes declined to investigate suspected brokers when presented with information obtained from trafficking victims. Except for the Tokyo Metropolitan and Kanagawa Prefectural Government, which funded locally based NGOs assisting victims of trafficking, the Government did not assist victims of trafficking other than to house them temporarily in detention centers for illegal immigrants or facilities established under the Antiprostitution Law, or by referral to shelters run by NGOs.
Generally these trafficking victims were deported as illegal aliens. During the year, the Government administratively decided not to treat victims as immediately deportable criminals, allowing the Government to develop its cases against traffickers.
Activists claim that victims without documentation or sufficient funds to return to their country of origin were sometimes detained for long periods. Several NGOs throughout the country provided shelter, medical aid, and legal assistance to trafficking victims.
During the year, government officials met with destination-country officials and participated in a Southeast Asian study tour to research trafficking issues. The Government has instituted tighter entertainer visa issuance and intends to cut the number of such visas issued to women from the Philippines from 80, to 8, a year.
Inthe Cabinet Affairs Office conducted a campaign to heighten public awareness of violence against women and trafficking, while the NPA produced a training video on trafficking and distributed it to all police offices to improve their awareness of trafficking. There were an estimated 3. Although not generally subject to overt discrimination in employment, education, or in the provision of other state services, persons with disabilities faced limited access to public transportation, "mainstream" public education, and other facilities.
The Deliberation Panel on the Employment of the Handicappedwhich operates within the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfarehas mandated that private companies with or more employees hire a fixed minimum proportion of persons with disabilities.
The penalty for noncompliance is a fine. The law does not mandate accessibility to buildings for persons with disabilities; however, the law on construction standards for public facilities allows operators of hospitals, theaters, hotels, and similar enterprises to receive low-interest loans and tax benefits if they build wider entrances and elevators to accommodate persons with disabilities.
The Law to Promote the Employment of the Handicapped includes those with mental disabilities. The law also loosened the licensing requirements for community support centers that promote employment for persons with disabilities, and it introduced government subsidies for the employment of persons with mental disabilities in part-time jobs. Inworkers with disabilities employed by private companies comprised on average 1. These employees earn an average of 3 million yen per year, which is above the minimum wage.
At the end ofall prefectural governments and In June, the Disabled Persons Fundamental Law was revised, obligating all municipalities to draw up formal plans for the disabled.
BurakuminKoreansChineseand alien workers experienced varying degrees of societal discrimination, some of it severe and longstanding. The approximately 3 million Burakumin descendants of feudal era "outcasts"although not subject to governmental discrimination, frequently were victims of entrenched societal discrimination, including restricted access to housing and employment opportunities.
According to the MOJthere were nearly 1. The largest group, at approximately , was ethnic Koreans, followed by ChineseBraziliansand Filipinos. Despite improvements in legal safeguards against discrimination, Korean permanent residents so-called Zainichi Koreansmost of whom were born, raised, and educated in Japan were subject to various forms of deeply entrenched societal discrimination.
Harassment and threats against pro- North Korean organizations and persons reportedly have increased since the admission by North Korea that it had kidnapped more than a dozen Japanese citizens. Other foreigners also were subject to discrimination. There was a widespread perception among Japanese citizens that foreigners committed many crimes.
A controversial Immigration Bureau website launched in February allows informants to report the name, address, or workplace of any suspicious foreigners for such reasons as "causing a nuisance in the neighborhood" and "causing anxiety". In the face of protests from human rights groups, the site was amended in March to remove the preset reasons, but remained operational at year's end.
By law, aliens with 5 years of continuous residence are eligible for naturalization and citizenship rights, including the right to vote ; however, in practice, most eligible aliens choose not to apply for citizenship, partly due to fears that their cultural identity would be lost.
Naturalization procedures also required an LP background check, including inquiries into the applicant's economic status and assimilation into society. Koreans were given the option of adopting a Japanese surname. The Government defended its naturalization procedures as necessary to ensure the smooth assimilation of foreigners into society. Alien permanent residents may live abroad for up to 4 or 5 years without losing their right to permanent residence in the country.
In Septemberthe School Education Law was amended to allow graduates of 21 non-Japanese language schools to become automatically eligible to take university entrance examinations. Previously all students of non-Japanese language schools were required to pass a state-run high school equivalency test to qualify for the examinations.
The amended law also enabled universities to set their admissions criteria at their own discretion. Duringmany national universities also admitted graduates of non-Japanese language schools other than the 21 schools included in the School Education Law amendment.
The Constitution provides for the right of workers to associate freely in unions. Inapproximately Unions were free of government control and influence. The Japanese Trade Union Confederationwhich represented 6. Some public employees, including members of the Self-Defense Forcespoliceand firefighters are not permitted to form unions or to strike. These restrictions have led to a long-running dispute with the ILO Committee on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations over the observance of ILO Convention 98 concerning the right to organize and bargain collectively.
The Committee has observed that these public employees have a limited capacity to participate in the process of determining their wages and has asked the Government to consider measures it could take to encourage negotiations with public employees. The Government determines the pay of government employees based on a recommendation by the independent National Personnel Authority. The Equal Employment Opportunity Law of Japan created in only advises or recommends employers to take measures to prevent sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment is the most reported category labor cases at the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan. In the Equal Employment Opportunity Act was revised and a provision was added that required employers to take measures to prevent sexual harassment against women in the workplace.
It was revised again in to include male victims, and it was revised again in to include same-sex sexual harassment. The Constitution provides unions with the right to organize, bargain, and act collectively. These rights were exercised freely, and collective bargaining was practiced widely.
The Constitution provides for the right to strike, and workers exercised this right in practice. There are no export processing zones. The Constitution provides that no person shall be held in bondage of any kind. Involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime, is prohibited. Although children were not specified in the provision, this legal prohibition against forced or compulsory labor applies equally to adults and to children.
In practice, there were no reports of persons held in bondage or involuntary servitude apart from trafficking victims. Former Allied prisoners of war and Chinese and Korean workers continued to press claims in Japanese civil courts and in complaints to the ILO for damages and compensation for forced labor during World War II.
Inthe United States Supreme Court rejected appeals from former prisoners of war and others who claimed they were forced to work for private Japanese companies as slave laborers during World War II. In Januarya U. The Constitution bans the employment of children. Both societal values and the rigorous enforcement of the Labor Standards Law protect children from exploitation in the workplace.
By law, children under the age of 15 may not be employed, and those under age 18 may not be employed in dangerous or harmful jobs. Minimum wages are set on a regional prefectural and industry basis, with the input of tripartite workers, employers, public interest advisory councils. Employers covered by a minimum wage must post the concerned minimum wages, and compliance with minimum wages was considered widespread.
Minimum wage rates ranged according to prefecture from to yen per hour. Minimum wage rates were considered sufficient to provide a worker and family with a decent standard of living. The Labor Standards Law provides for a hour work week for most industries and mandates premium pay for hours worked over 40 in a week, or 8 in a day. However, labor unions frequently criticized the government for failing to enforce maximum working hours regulations in smaller firms.
Activist groups claimed that employers exploited or discriminated against foreign workers, who often had little or no knowledge of the Japanese language or their legal rights. The government tried to reduce the inflow of illegal foreign workers by prosecuting employers of such workers. According to NPA figures, persons were charged with "illegal employment assistance" during the first half of The Immigration Law provides for penalties against employers of undocumented foreign workers.
Photographer Gin Satoh was there to record the violence and volume; now for the first time his photos are being exhibited outside Japan. The sun rises as a small crowd of people emerge, ears ringing, onto the street. This is Tokyo,and Japanese noise band Hanatarash has just finished a legendarily show involving diggers, circular saws and almost a molotov cocktail.
Among the crowd is photographer Gin Satoh, who has chronicled this show and many others since The s boom years brought a lot to Japan, not least a rapid development of both cities and technology. As the world became accustomed to gleaming skyscrapers and Tokyo futurism, another underground culture had been developing in the shadows and basements.
Known as noizu noisethis genre and music scene blends punk, jazz and absolute volume. This is sweaty, bloody and violent — completely at odds with the cool, calm and sleek image of air conditioned Tokyo.
Gin began shooting live music in Tokyo when the scene was exploding. He studied photography but never graduated, instead cutting his teeth in the music scene early and building experience.
It took until the s for him to find the noizu scene, and when he did it was through a mixture of American influence and anti-war activism. How did you come across this music scene? In the s, lots of events occurred frequently. If a festival like Woodstock happened, something similar would follow in Japan.
And the Vietnam War was running in the background. Part of that scene I agree with. What intrigued you enough to spend nearly ten years photographing it? It was simply these that musicians were interesting to me. To be a specialist musical photographer was a way to continue that interest. The musicians got younger. In the s they were roughly between 25— Around they were probably 20— By they were younger than What was the mood like in the clubs?
Rather than escapism, it was like self-assertion.
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