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Old 2010-09-20, 10:23   Link #1481
TinyRedLeaf
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Lay judges handle pressure of Oshio trial
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Tokyo (Sept 19, Sun): The recent court case of actor Manabu Oshio shows that ordinary people can do a good job judging a high-profile trial despite wall-to-wall media coverage and intense pressure to understand technical evidence, according to legal experts and the lay judges themselves.

The heavy media presence continued throughout the trial — the first involving a celebrity under the one-year-old lay judge system — at the Tokyo District Court.

Despite fears they would be unduly influenced by the media, the lay judges who handed down the two-year prison sentence last Friday said they were confident they reached a fair judgment based on the evidence.

Oshio, 32, immediately filed an appeal.

THE JAPAN TIMES
The point of interest being the still-new lay judges system in Japan, the culmination of a raft of changes that apparently took some 10 years to implement.

Quote:
By Kwan Weng Kin
Japan Correspondent for The Straits Times

(Sept 20, Mon)

...Data collected over the past year indicates that trials involving lay judges have shown a distinct change from previous trials employing only professional judges.

Last month marked the first anniversary of the first trial that used lay judges. During the past year, there have been 850 rulings nationwide in which lay judges participated, involving about 3,000 Japanese citizens.

What is interesting, though not unexpected, is that lay judges were found to behave rather differently from professional judges when arriving at a judgment. For instance, lay judges may consider a person not guilty if they are unsure about the veracity of even one piece of evidence, among the many submitted for consideration.

The fact that lay judges absorb and process information somewhat differently from trained judges, and that many lay judges need to be coaxed as well, has had some lawyers reportedly dropping their traditional courtroom speaking style for a more intimate manner aimed at appealing to the emotions of the lay judges.

Lay judges also showed themselves to be more easily intimidated. In one case in Wakayama, western Japan, lay judges sat through a four-day robbery trial without asking a single question. One female lay judge confessed to being frightened by a particularly rowdy defendant.

In general, lay judges tended to be more generous. Some three quarters of defendants were granted bail under the lay judges system – 20 percentage points more than before the system was introduced.

Yet for serious crimes, such as murder or rape, it is said that lay judges tended to impose heavier penalties than professional judges.

To ensure that the system works well, the law provides for a review in 2012.

How the system works
  • In May 2004, the Japanese Parliament passed a law requiring citizens to participate as lay judges in trials for severe crimes. It was implemented in May last year.
  • Citizens chosen for judge service are randomly selected from the electoral register. They must have completed at least a secondary level of education.
  • The judicial panel for a trial usually comprises six lay judges and three professional judges.
  • Lay judges are allowed to directly question the defendant during the course of a trial and decide on the sentence which corresponds to the verdict.
  • A guilty verdict requires a numerical majority among the nine judges, and must include at least one professional judge.
  • The first lay-judge trial was held in August last year in Tokyo, where a 72-year-old man was found guilty of stabbing a 66-year-old neighbour to death. He was sentenced to 15 years in hail.
  • If a citizen is chosen to serve as a lay judge but refuses, he will be fined 100,000 yen (US$1,165).
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Old 2010-09-20, 22:00   Link #1482
Vexx
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Many japanese communities around the world celebrate Tsukimi, you might have a local version in your area. Here's a write up from Wiki.

Quote:
Tsukimi (月見?) or Otsukimi, literally moon-viewing, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese lunisolar calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar.
The tradition dates to the Jomon period, and is now so popular in Japan that some people repeat the activities for several evenings following the appearance of the full moon during the eighth lunisolar month.
Tsukimi traditions include displaying decorations made from Japanese pampas grass (susuki) and eating rice dumplings called Tsukimi dango in order to celebrate the beauty of the moon. Seasonal produce are also displayed as offerings to the moon. Sweet potatoes are offered to the full moon, while beans or chestnuts are offered to the waxing moon the following month. The alternate names of the celebrations, Imomeigetsu (literally "potato harvest moon") and Mamemeigetsu ("bean harvest moon") or Kurimeigetsu ("chestnut harvest moon") are derived from these offerings.
In my area the local Japanese Garden has a moon-viewing party at the next full moon weekend.
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Old 2010-09-21, 20:14   Link #1483
thevil1
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I would assume this kind of video would go in this topic.
Spoiler for Children Full of Life... What are some of your thoughts on these?:

I find this amazing and contradictory from other places that I heard saying that the Japanese teaching style is different.

I had a teacher very similar to this, extremely strict, but it was "tough love".
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Last edited by thevil1; 2010-09-21 at 20:30.
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Old 2010-09-22, 15:27   Link #1484
Vexx
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(interesting video there, rather odd documentary style .... and yeah, teaching styles do vary even in Japan. Very cute kids and some really fascinating therapy) Sadly... one big difference is that the teacher isn't restricted from hugging kids who need it. The US has tread down the insanity road of "teachers may not touch students" thanks to over-reaction to the occasional abuse. Its like we're too stupid to realize what is normal and what isn't.
I wonder if this is part of a national program or just something this school is trying.

On the topic of Cultural Values,

Here's Yet Another Reason not to do drugs and get anything on your record -- the Japanese do not want you in their country even to visit.

Posterchild example: Paris Hilton
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_734440.html
Of course, her tweets on the incident make me wonder how clueless she sounded to the Japanese officials as well.
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Old 2010-09-22, 15:32   Link #1485
ChainLegacy
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LOL I love one guy's comment below: "Japan ended up refusing to let Paris Hilton in their country...she is on her way back to America. U.S. it's your turn... don't let us down. "

Surprising they are that strict, even with celebrities. Then again, from what I know of their drug laws, perhaps not so much.
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Old 2010-09-22, 19:44   Link #1486
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
LOL I love one guy's comment below: "Japan ended up refusing to let Paris Hilton in their country...she is on her way back to America. U.S. it's your turn... don't let us down. "
Now that is funny ChainLegacy I dint know Japan was that strict about celebrities as well.
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Old 2010-09-23, 02:48   Link #1487
TinyRedLeaf
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Japanese prosecutor arrested for evidence tampering
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Tokyo (Sept 22, Wed): Japan's centre-left government today promised a thorough inquiry after the arrest of one of the state's elite prosecutors for alleged evidence-tampering sparked widespread outrage.

Late yesterday, the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office arrested one of its own, Osaka prosecutor Tsunehiko Maeda, 43, for allegedly falsifying evidence in a case against a female senior bureaucrat who has since been exonerated.

In a country where state prosecutors enjoy much prestige and boast a conviction rate of more than 99 per cent — a ratio that has drawn concern from civil rights activists — the case has set off alarm bells.

"It's an unprecedented scandal," said the Asahi Shimbun daily. "Trust in the prosecution service has been shaken to its foundations."

Maeda allegedly changed the date of a recording on a floppy disk that was seized from the bureaucrat's home as evidence to support his case.

The defendant, Ms Atsuko Muraki, 54, was accused of taking part in a scam for mass mailers to abuse postal discounts reserved for disabled people — but a court acquitted her last Friday and the ministry reinstated her the same day.

Japanese prosecutors, who have police-style investigative powers, have often been the legal spearhead against white-collar crime and have in the past arrested top politicians, state bureaucrats and business figures.

AFP
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Old 2010-09-23, 03:41   Link #1488
Tri-ring
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Here's Yet Another Reason not to do drugs and get anything on your record -- the Japanese do not want you in their country even to visit.

Posterchild example: Paris Hilton
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_734440.html
Of course, her tweets on the incident make me wonder how clueless she sounded to the Japanese officials as well.
She probably will not be the last but definitely not the first.

The Rolling Stones were not able to make a liver performance in Japan until the 90's due to Mick Jagger's arrest in the 70's.
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Old 2010-09-23, 11:59   Link #1489
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Tri-ring View Post
She probably will not be the last but definitely not the first.

The Rolling Stones were not able to make a liver performance in Japan until the 90's due to Mick Jagger's arrest in the 70's.
Yeah, I'm old enough to remember McCartney being denied entrance and the Rolling Stones incident. There are a number of performers over the decades that didn't seem to clue in on the "no free pass" attitude of other countries.

That history simply makes Paris look even MORE clueless.
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Old 2010-09-23, 23:20   Link #1490
Kudryavka
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After Hilton's early jail release for DUI fiasco, I don't blame them. Many other countries were watching as intently as we were - would the police really let her go early just because she's famous/is rich, even though she committed a felony? I wouldn't be surprised if Japan was paying attention back then, too. She's a household name for the wrong reasons.
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Old 2010-09-24, 13:35   Link #1491
Ahiru77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
I would assume this kind of video would go in this topic.
Spoiler for Children Full of Life... What are some of your thoughts on these?:

I find this amazing and contradictory from other places that I heard saying that the Japanese teaching style is different.

I had a teacher very similar to this, extremely strict, but it was "tough love".
I watched the first part. That was incredibly beautiful.

Really sweet kids + really sweet teacher = happiness.
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Old 2010-09-25, 02:29   Link #1492
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
snip
That was fucking touching.
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Old 2010-09-25, 05:45   Link #1493
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Not sure if this is exactly supposed to go here, but Danny Choo has started a TV Programme which airs over animax and on Tokyo MX. Well, it will do starting 8th October as it proved pretty popular.

It's basically a programme on Japanese Pop Culture, it's a really interesting watch if you've got an hour. He's going to upload all the episodes English subbed for the people who don't get Animax Asia or Tokyo MX ^^

You can watch the pilot here.

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Old 2010-09-25, 19:26   Link #1494
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDW View Post
That was fucking touching.
^
No pun intended (I hope)...

If a teacher in the States where to hug a kid like that even for comforting reasons, that teacher would never get a job again.
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Old 2010-09-25, 21:27   Link #1495
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
^
No pun intended (I hope)...

If a teacher in the States where to hug a kid like that even for comforting reasons, that teacher would never get a job again.
One of the things screwed up and *wrong* here in the States, the witch burners burn the innocent and well-meaning in their quest for the random demon.
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Old 2010-09-25, 23:22   Link #1496
teachopvutru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
I would assume this kind of video would go in this topic.
Spoiler for Children Full of Life... What are some of your thoughts on these?:

I find this amazing and contradictory from other places that I heard saying that the Japanese teaching style is different.

I had a teacher very similar to this, extremely strict, but it was "tough love".
I have been feeling shitty for the past couple weeks. This documentary made my day.

Thanks for posting it.
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Old 2010-09-26, 19:51   Link #1497
thevil1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teachopvutru View Post
I have been feeling shitty for the past couple weeks. This documentary made my day.

Thanks for posting it.
I'm glad to hear that . I just find these videos interesting since they opose the stereotypical Asian Japanese teaching style of "work 'till you can't work, then work some more". I heard that Japan has a saying "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down."
Spoiler for stereotypical Japanese teaching style. What are your thoughts on this? I haven't yet formed a formal opinion on it yet, but I'll post it when I do.:
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Old 2010-09-26, 22:51   Link #1498
Sing4ever9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thevil1 View Post
I would assume this kind of video would go in this topic.
Spoiler for Children Full of Life... What are some of your thoughts on these?:

I find this amazing and contradictory from other places that I heard saying that the Japanese teaching style is different.

I had a teacher very similar to this, extremely strict, but it was "tough love".
I've watched this before; It was too sweet.

Wow, this thread makes me want to think twice about Japan. I know it's not the land of God or anything like that but still, I'd had the thought for a while of teaching English over in Japan once I'm older. Reading some of the things I read here make Japan seem like a really scary kind of place.

Also, how do the Japanese really feel about foreigners? I kept hearing from various places that they generally do not like you if you're foreign. Some (very few, though) businesses I hear won't even allow you to come in if you're foreign. Is this true?
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Old 2010-09-26, 23:40   Link #1499
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Sing4ever9 View Post
Also, how do the Japanese really feel about foreigners? I kept hearing from various places that they generally do not like you if you're foreign. Some (very few, though) businesses I hear won't even allow you to come in if you're foreign. Is this true?
Quick simple answers are usually wrong.
Japanese are often quite curious about foreigners but nervous they will make some faux pas when engaging you.
Japanese have had a bad experience in the past with a foreigner (hence the bar signs that say "no gaijin" - you can guarantee some foreigners were probably dipwads there in the past). Occasionally, it is just that the number of unknowns when dealing with foreigners makes the other clientele and the employees nervous so its a "wah compensator".

Not taking the time to learn how to behave in Japan causes much of the tension one might experience. Think "Ugly American Tourist" in the european mind-set and multiply by 10.

Some people have had the experience of an elderly Japanese refusing to believe a foreigner can speak Japanese even though they're perfectly fluent.

Basically, your experience will depend largely on how you act - or how those who came before you acted. It is up to you not to screw it up for yourself or those who come after you.

This really isn't exclusive to Japan ... people in the US often form judgmental opinions based on one experience with someone different from them.
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Old 2010-09-26, 23:49   Link #1500
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Japanese have had a bad experience in the past with a foreigner (hence the bar signs that say "no gaijin" - you can guarantee some foreigners were probably dipwads there in the past).
This applies heavily to public baths, from what I've seen. And knowing the average American, you know someone acted like an idiot. It isn't just preemptive measures.
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