Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles This video is brought to you by Squarespace. 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. It's just been so easy to get my online presence out there. In fact, when we created Tokyo Zebra, I let Maiko who's never managed or built a web site in her life. 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. So, if any of you are looking to actually get a web site out there and your online presence out there. 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.