Japan Legal System
 3 April 2014, 07:09

3 observations of Japan Legal system during my business trip there in Spring:

1.      Lay Judges

In May 2009 a new system was implemented whereby citizens acting as lay judges in criminal trials confer with judges to determine whether defendants are guilty or innocent as well as the nature of their punishment. Even though this system is seen as a means of increasing the transparency of the legal system since it concerns the trial of seriousness such as murder, the possibility of becoming a lay judge poses a great deal of pressure on ordinary citizens. Every Japanese citizen with the right to vote may be selected as a lay judge.

2.      Death Penalty

Japan has not abolished the death penalty nor stopped implementing it, the death penalty remains a topic of fervent debate in Japan. The recent case of the former boxer convicted of murder and sentenced to death and found to be innocent further fuelled the controversy.

3.      Inheritance Tax

Property inheritance commences on the death of the person from where property is to be inherited. Of course it is often the case that tax payable on by those who inherit the estate are so great that the inheritors may choose to abandon their estate.

The period allowed in which one has to submit a report for tax purposes is 10 months: during this time one should both file a final tax report and pay the required taxes.

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