Thursday, January 24, 2008

Justice, Japan-style

I've mentioned the scary state of the Japanese legal system before. Here's another lovely story of an obvious stitch-up, where a foreign resident was locked up for a few days on nothing more than the word of a deranged taxi-driver. And it's not over yet, he faces the possibility of a year in prison (more likely, he'll have to pay a few million yen in "compensation", which may be what the taxi-driver was planning in the first place, only he seems too mad to have had a plan). Arbitrary detention without basic legal rights (such as access to a lawyer) is the sort of thing I expect of tin-pot 3rd-world dictatorships, not a supposedly modern liberal democracy (well one out of three ain't bad).

We had our own run-in with a mad driver several years ago. He tried to drive his large truck straight through the middle of our tandem (turning left on setting off at a traffic-light controlled junction). In response to a slap on the wing-mirror from jules (which nudged it out of position, but fortunately did no damage) he went ballistic. Fortunately the police calmed everything down and just made us all apologise to each other. If I'd known then the risk I was taking, I might have made more effort to escape before they arrived.

No comments: