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  • Japan, one of the safest countries in the world.

  • In fact, when it comes to crime in 2017,

  • the Japan crime rate hit record lows with a total of 915,000 recorded crimes when compared to the U.S.

  • with almost tripled the population,

  • had a total of 8.9 million recorded crimes.

  • For me, there's no better place to visit or even live and probably why I've been here for more than 15 years.

  • So if you've never been in Japan, then I definitely recommend visiting once, at least in your life.

  • But before you visit, you might want to know why Japan arrests foreigners.

  • Well, the simple answer is when many foreigners come over,

  • they simply fail to understand Japanese laws, their severity, and the overall Judicial system until it's too late.

  • And believe me, I've seen and heard enough stories of foreigners getting arrested that I wanted to make this video for you guys.

  • So when you visit Japan, you don't end up arrested.

  • Because the last thing you want to do especially come in Japan is get arrested.

  • I won't be doing this video by myself.

  • But I've actually invited a real Japanese trial lawyer to help answer some of our questions today.

  • Enough without further ado. Let's get this thing started.

  • So you guys are finally here. Can you just tell us a little bit about yourself?

  • Hi. I'm Yugo: Yugo Ishibashi.

  • I'm a Japanese lawyer. I like to consider myself as a trial lawyer.

  • Okay.

  • And I'm doing a lot of criminal cases. So today, I would like to explain you about the Japanese justice system.

  • So maybe before we like start about all of the different situations

  • that foreigners could get themselves arrested for.

  • Maybe you can kind of like share with me how the justice system

  • overall kind of works here in Japan.

  • Okay.

  • So, if you get arrested:

  • Police will get you in custody for 72 hours.

  • And within that 72 hours, they have to decide whether to detain you or not.

  • The prosecutor will file a request and if the judge approves such a request then you'll get detained for 10 days.

  • And this 10 days. It could be extended for 10 more days.

  • So in total, the detainment will last 23 days and if you're a foreigner and you don't have a permanent residency.

  • It's likely that you'll get arrested and get detained for 23 days for one crime.

  • Of course, if you have committed another crime and if they arrest you for that, that will be 46.

  • So, if you say you like shoplift and then you also assaulted someone.

  • Yes.

  • That means 3 days each.

  • Yes.

  • Peculiar thing about the Japanese justice system is: in most of the other countries,

  • You can request for a bail if you get arrested, so...

  • Probably in the United States you can- you will get out of it in 24 hours.

  • Probably.

  • But in Japan, we don't have that system.

  • You only can request a bail after you get indicted.

  • You can see a lawyer, but you cannot get bailed out.

  • You cannot get outside the cell.

  • You have to stay in custody for 23 days.

  • Maybe after the 3 days, you can meet your family.

  • Okay.

  • 50 minutes each day.

  • And if you get indicted, you may get uh-

  • detained for a longer or they release you.

  • If you get arrested for doing shoplifting.

  • For example, or a bar fight.

  • It's a minor crime. But if you're foreigner, you don't have the permit of residency.

  • There is the risk that you will get detained for 23 days.

  • So, just let me clarify this okay?

  • We feel like you've committed a crime, then they'll take you to the police station.

  • Yes.

  • They'll hold you for 3 days. They don't have to charge you with a crime.

  • No.

  • So, basically they'll just interrogate you for 3 days.

  • Yes.

  • And within the 3 days, if they don't charge you with a crime.

  • Then, they have to let you go right?

  • Or they ask you for detainment up to 20 days.

  • 10 days plus 10 days.

  • What happens if you don't speak the language.

  • Well, there's an interpreter, but 23 days, it's-I think it's outrageous.

  • Some people lose their jobs...lose their families.

  • What happens during that 23 days?

  • Yeah.

  • The police will do some investigation and you'll get interrogated.

  • No emails, no telephone, and although, you have the right to remain silence.

  • In Japan, the authorities construe that you have to be there when the officer questions you.

  • So, there's difference because my understanding is other countries:

  • If you have the right to remain silent, you don't have to go through the interrogation. So, that's also a big difference.

  • So doing an interrogation, you have to be in the room with officer and they will throw in questions.

  • And they will put pressure on you.

  • They will say like "It's better for you to plead guilty" and they are accusing you for a crime.

  • And although, you have the right to remain silence.

  • It's really difficult, hard to exercise it right.

  • Also, one more thing:

  • The lawyer is not allowed to be present during the interrogation.

  • In other countries, usually the lawyers are with you but not in Japan.

  • They don't allow that here in Japan.

  • So, a lot of pressure and that's why a lot of people confess, even confess what's not true.

  • And thus the conviction rate of 99.9%.

  • And this is called "Hostage Justice".

  • And what's that called in Japanese?

  • Hitojichi Shihō.

  • Like they basically, force a confession.

  • Yes.

  • Because if you're shoplifting, maybe they will just tell you not to do it anymore or maybe a fine.

  • But if you plead, not guilty: they will keep you for a longer period.

  • After they indict you, you will be detained and sometimes, it could end up a year because they don't hear you out.

  • The judge won't approve it. They want your confession.

  • That's why it's called "Hostage Justice".

  • You're better off just confessing.

  • Well, a lot of people will think in a way. It's in a way irrational.

  • What about an embassy? For example, can they do anything for you?

  • Well, they can come and they can probably give your message to your family, but not much.

  • Alright, so let me just take a quick break right now and thank our sponsors Squarespace.

  • Without them, I wouldn't be able to make these videos for you guys.

  • So, I've been using Squarespace for the last seven years to start up all the different businesses I've had.

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  • And it was super easy for her to use.

  • What's really nice is that they have all these different templates that then you can go choose.

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  • You can go to squarespace.com

  • And try it for free and when you're ready to launch, go to squarespace.com/paolofromtokyo and get 10% off your first purchase on your domain or website.

  • It's that easy.

  • Let's like kind of talk about theft. That's one of the common reasons why foreigners get arrested here in Japan.

  • Yes.

  • So, someone goes into a shop. They go and like take an item.

  • The shopkeeper sees them, they get stopped.

  • What's the process there?

  • Well, they will call for police.

  • They will take you to a police office nearby and probably you'll get arrested, detained, and the process I explained to you earlier: the 23 days.

  • And also, if you ask for a lawyer, they usually have interpreter.

  • But, there is a language barrier and usually if it's theft and if he's pleading guilty.

  • And, if he has a lawyer, we are trying to make a settlement.

  • Is the victim trying to compensate?

  • But recently, a lot of stores: those big stores.

  • Yeah.

  • Clothing stores or merchandise they refused to sell.

  • The reason for that is because the damage cost by shoplifting.

  • It's a huge, huge amount.

  • They don't want to settle anymore and they want to be more strict on the punishment.

  • Like it's a warning sign to everyone else that's trying to shoplift.

  • The difference between the Japanese and the foreigners is the foreigners, especially those sightseeing tourists.

  • Yes.

  • They don't have a permanent residency.

  • There is a risk of flight if they don't live in Japan.

  • So, that gives reason for authority to arrest and to detain them.

  • Wow.

  • So it's a funny thing, if you get convicted.

  • Yeah.

  • For example, you're guilty, but it was a minor offense.

  • So or tells you to pay fine, but you already spent like a year in jail.

  • Well, the crime you committed was a minor.

  • Oh-

  • Small crime.

  • But, but still, they will put you in jail off a year or two or even longer.

  • Until you confess.

  • Yes.

  • Many times people ask me.

  • "But, should I confess even I haven't done it."

  • But, as a lawyer, it's-it's really hard to say.

  • There's one thing I wanted to talk about.

  • There was two roommates and one of the roommates actually got some drugs sent to their apartment.

  • Because both of them are living in the same space.

  • Um.

  • They both got detained or arrested.

  • I think it's a matter of how strong that evidence is.

  • If there's no evidence, they cannot arrest you and there's no reason to arrest you.

  • So, there must be some kind of evidence.

  • The question is how strong is that evidence?

  • For example, of what you have told me now, they found drugs where those two people were living, right?

  • Yeah.

  • So, there is suspicion.

  • But, it was only sent to one person.

  • The other guy says right?

  • Of course, if the situation show.

  • For example, if they go through a computer.

  • They will check your email and if they find like email exchanges with the other person and the person who sent those drugs.

  • Yeah.

  • Then, probably you can say,

  • "I didn't do it and there's no evidence."

  • They will release you or they will decide not to indict you.

  • But, what happens if you don't give them your password?

  • Oh, that-that that's interesting case on there.

  • For example, iPhone.

  • If you don't give them your password, the pass number.

  • They cannot open it. Not even the FBI can open it, I heard.

  • So, there are people who refuse to use their password.

  • So, you can do that on the computer as well.

  • You don't have to give them your password.

  • No.

  • What about your thumbprint?

  • You can refuse.

  • What happens if they force your thumb onto the phone?

  • They are not allowed to do that.

  • Thumbprint?

  • Yeah.

  • Or refusing to give your ID or your reading test.

  • Or not allowing them to search your bags.

  • You have the right to do that.

  • And, if you have a strong will, then probably you can go over there.

  • But, it's not easy for...

  • How do I say it: Regular people.

  • So, let me get this straight.

  • So. if someone gets caught with drugs.

  • Within those 23 days, if they do confess to that crime and then once they're indicted, the court process:

  • How long could take?

  • Well, if you're pleading guilty, it will be two months to three months.

  • Okay.

  • So, on top of the maybe, you know, three weeks you've spent, you can another two months in jail.

  • Now, if you're in Tokyo, it will be Tokyo Detention Center.

  • Well, you can request a bail.

  • You can request bail?

  • At that time, if you're gonna get indicted.

  • If you have somebody who could pay for the bill and if you have a friend.

  • Somebody who will dodge for you.

  • Yes.

  • So, you have two to three months for the trial and once that's completed, they sentence you.

  • You get sentence for...let's say, half year, six month, or a year with three years of probation.

  • Yeah.

  • But then, there's the visa issue. That's a different matter.

  • The immigration standard cancel your visa and then they will ask you to come to the immigration office.

  • And there, you get detained again.

  • How long usually?

  • Well, if you can afford your own ticket, then not long.

  • Otherwise, you will have to wait until there's a special airplane for deportation.

  • That's-that's pretty serious, right?

  • It's serious. Yes.

  • Actually, not the crime itself that is serious. I think it's the system.

  • I've seen people foreigner. They got arrested for shoplifting.

  • Onigiri, a rice bowl. For one rice ball.

  • He was detained for almost a year and after that, he was deported-deportation.

  • Do you think marijuana, cocaine is drugs, or is that something that's common for foreigners to get arrested?

  • Well, not only foreigners. Also for Japanese people, but it happens often.

  • Theft and drug. Even a bar fight.

  • For example, if you were fighting against a Japanese and the police comes.

  • Of course, they will listen to this Japanese guy because they can communicate with this

  • Yeah.

  • person.

  • Well, you can't explain your story. They can explain their story. The police will just probably hear that one side.

  • So, what do they do?

  • They can arrest you, the same with drugs.

  • So, if the Japanese person says, "Oh, he hit me first. He assaulted me."

  • The police can just arrest you.

  • Yes, but there's also cameras around. So, if you could prove that your story is true.

  • So, if you do get in a fight and you did hit someone first. You're gonna go down this path.

  • There's a possibility. Then, of course, it doesn't mean necessarily that you get arrested.

  • They may let you go.

  • Yes.

  • So, let's talk about graffiti.

  • Okay.

  • I'm in Shibuya. I see it all around.

  • Is it that bad?

  • Well, you can get arrested.