March 2014


Im sure that you are righteous people.
However, even if this so, there is the possibility that you may become violent while intoxicated. Even your own son or daughter is capable of committing a crime.
Therefore, it would be prudent to have a plan in place and to understand the process in case you are ever arrested.

First of all, after the police arrest a suspect, they make a record of a statement and send the suspect to a public prosecutor within 48 hours from the time of arrest. If the police believe that there is no need to detain the suspect any longer, then they will transfer the suspect.

The prosecutor who receives the suspect determines if the suspect needs to be detained. In addition to this, the prosecutor must request to detain the suspect within 24 hours from the time he receives the suspect.
Risk of an escape, risk of the destruction of evidence, or no fixed abode can be the reasons for detainment. According to statistics, 93% of suspects sent to prosecutors are requested to be detained.

If the prosecutor makes a request to a judge to detain the suspect and if the judge grants it, then the suspect will be detained for 10 more days; judges actually grant 99% of these requests. Also, if the prosecutor indicates that he needs more time to investigate the suspect, he can request that the court extends the term of the detainment for an additional 10 days.

To counter this, the suspect can protest this judgment by the court; however, this appeal will be only slightly acknowledged.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor decides whether he will indict the suspect or not.

Therefore, once you are arrested by the police, you should expect to be taken into custody for at a maximum 23 days.

If you think that you will be released on bail after the trial begins, you are greatly mistaken. 

Article 89 of the Criminal Procedure Code clearly states why you can be kept in custody:
The request for bail shall be granted, except when:

(i) The accused has allegedly committed a crime which is punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment with or without work or a sentence of imprisonment with or without work whose minimum term of imprisonment is one year or more;

 (ii) The accused was previously found guilty of a crime punishable by the death penalty, life imprisonment with or without work or a sentence of imprisonment with or without work whose maximum term of imprisonment was in excess of ten years;

 (iii) The accused allegedly habitually committed a crime punishable by imprisonment with or without work whose maximum term of imprisonment was in excess of three years;

 (iv) There is probable cause to suspect that the accused may conceal or destroy evidence;

 (v) There is probable cause to suspect that the accused may harm or threaten the body or property of the victim or any other person who is deemed to have essential knowledge for the trial of the case or the relatives of such persons;

 (vi) The name or residence of the accused is unknown.

However, you should note that if you deny some of the charges, there is little chance that you will be released on bail.

As stated above, a suspect tends to be placed in continuous custody under the criminal justice system in Japan.
This situation has been criticized as
hostage justice, but this is the reality in Japan.
Therefore, if you are arrested, it is important to acquire advice from a lawyer.
In Japan, there is a system that involves a
duty solicitor and you can call a lawyer free of charge for the first time. So you should apply to this system and request a lawyer as soon as possible when you or your family members are arrested.

In general, labor contracts in Japan have no contract period.
Employees who are hired based on the labor contract with no period are called "regular employees", and it is difficult to dismiss those regular employees.
Labor Contract Act Article 16 says, "A dismissal shall, as long as it lacks objectively reasonable grounds and is considered to be inappropriate in general societal terms, be treated as an abuse of the right and be invalid."
In Japan, it is said that even if an employee has shown a poor result, it is very difficult to dismiss him/her due to this article. We need more serious infringement of the labor contract by him/her.
As for a dismissal due to the reduction in the functions of a company, it shall be determined in light of (1) the necessity of the personnel reduction, (2) the necessity of choosing the dismissal for the purposes of reorganization, (3) the necessity of choosing the employee who has to be dismissed and (4) the validity of the dismissal procedure in a comprehensive manner. Moreover, a dismissal shall be approved only under a severely disadvantaged management status.
Therefore, in Japan, as it is difficult for a company to dismiss regular employees only by the company order, it is common for a company to make agreement on retirements with employees.

Labor Contract Act Article 20 says, "In the event where an employer wishes to dismiss a worker, the employer shall provide at least 30 days advance notice. An employer who does not give 30 days advance notice shall pay the average wage for the period of no less than 30 days."
However, as I explained above, even if a company provides at least 30 days advance notice or pays the average wage for the period of no less than 30 days, there is a possibility that the dismissal is invalid, so it is common for a company to pay three to six months worth salaries to recommend retirements to and make agreement on retirements with employees.

In contrast, non-regular employees such as "part-time workers", "arubaito (side-job) workers" or "dispatched workers through temporary staffing agencies" should obey the employment contract, and the contract termination may be described in the contract.
Therefore, a company can let those employees go upon the contract expiry without renewing it.

However, as for a dismissal in the middle of the contract period, there are regulations similar to those applied for regular employees as I explained above.
Furthermore, there is a new rule specifying that, if the fixed-term labor contract is repeatedly renewed more than five years, a company should change the contract from a fixed-term labor contract to a labor contract without a definite period by the requests from employees.

The rigid legal system pertaining to labor in Japan is criticized for interfering economic growth by reducing mobility in employment.
However, as the political power of the regular employees are strong, there is no prospect that the Japanese labor system will improve.
Recently, many of the Japanese companies do not employ regular employees but employ non-regular employees such as "part-time workers," "arubaito (side-job) workers," or "dispatched workers”.

Therefore, I recommend you to employ staffs with fixed-term labor contracts if you are not sure to continue to employ them and pay salaries.