As a lawyer, my particular specialization is International Business Law and I studied abroad in several countries during Law School to gain more experience with foreign legal systems. While criminal cases are not my area of expertise, I’m still fascinated by criminal systems from other countries and how they compare to my own. One of the countries I studied in was Japan, and the differences between our legal system and theirs was fascinating. Unlike the US who was based on the British common law system, Japan has a greater influence from Germany and is one of those countries that applies a civil law system. Some of the differences are more obvious and some less so.
Although all of the programs I studied with offered field trips, one of those that stood out to me the most was our visit to a Japanese prison. We were given a tour of the facilities and shown the various practices they used to maintain order. It seemed incredibly cramped which certainly would put the fear of jail into some. Like everything else in Japan though, it was an amazingly detailed and organized system.
If you are interested, here is a fascinating glimpse into part of the criminal system (particularly the initial detainment of a suspect) of Japan based on an interview a Youtuber (PaolofromTOKYO) held with a Japanese Criminal Attorney. How does their detainment system compare to that of your country?