Civil Suits Regarding the Criminal Justice System
1) Administrative Suits (Gyōsei Soshō ) 行政訴訟
2) State Redress Suits (Kokka Baishō Soshō 国家賠償訴訟）
Roughly speaking, suits against the government can be divided into two categories. Administrative suits urge the courts to order the government to take an appropriate action. State Redress Suits seek compensation for harm received through the government.
Both varieties rarely succeed. Even if a claim is made against a local rural seat, the defendant will be the government-- and is always listed as "The State" (Kuni 国.)
The state is quite a formidable ally in Japan. The judges who adjudicate such suits are employees of the government and do not want to risk ruining their careers by rocking the boat. And when plaintiffs actually succeed in winning, the awards tend to be scrawny.
The Kokka-Baisho Network is a group of wrongful arrest victims and other plaintiffs who offer assistance to those who bring suit. Some of the members have abilities to correspond in English. Their website is
Please feel free to contact JIADEP if you wish to bring a suit for wrongful arrest.
State Redress Suits
Tokyo High Court reverses lower court and awards 10,000,000 Yen to family of Chinese man for wrongful shooting at the hands of the police.
Woman wins suit against police: Officer did not identify himself properly 2011/May (No English Press)
Supreme Court rules youth threatened by prosecutor, interrogation ruled illegal.
November 6, 2010
UG Valentine is a Nigerian national who lead a peaceful life married to a Japanese woman while working in Shinjuku. One night, he was badly beaten by undercover police officers. Bravely, he brought suit against the police/state but was defeated in court. ( More )
Prosecutor's pressure for confession ruled illegal. Husband and wife awarded damages for malfeasance.
Court asserts legality of death row inmates receiving cash, letters
The Fukuoka District Court ruled Wednesday that it is illegal for the state not to allow two death row inmates to receive letters and cash from their supporters at their detention house, ordering the state to pay them 10,000 yen in damages each.
The inmates—Masashi Daidoji and Toshiaki Masunaga, both 60—and their supporters sought 1.26 million yen in compensation in total, claiming that the Tokyo Detention House did not allow the supporters, based mainly in Fukuoka, to provide the two with letters, cash and other materials in 2004. Daidoji and Masunaga were sentenced to death for the 1974 bombing of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. headquarters building in Tokyo that claimed eight lives.
Osaka court rejects suit filed by men acquitted of killing
Jan. 18, 2003
OSAKA -- The Osaka District Court dismissed a damages suit Friday filed by two men who were tried and acquitted of beating a 21-year-old man to death in 1995.
The two men, aged 24 and 26, were together seeking 30 million yen in compensation from the national and local governments, as well as from Osaka Prefectural Police officers, claiming they suffered mental distress from unjust treatment.
They maintained that police fabricated statements and pursued the criminal case against them without confirming the facts.
Presiding Judge Yukihiro Taniguchi dismissed the plaintiffs' claims and said police and prosecutors had grounds to suspect the two were involved in the killing.
The victim died after being attacked by a motorcycle gang in the city of Suita before dawn on April 23, 1995.
The man had spat on the bikers from a pedestrian bridge because he was angry at the disturbance they were causing, the court said.
Osaka Prefectural Police placed the two men in custody based chiefly on testimony given by their associates. The pair, who were minors at the time, apparently had close ties to the motorcycle gang.
The 24 year-old man was convicted in his first trial but acquitted by a high court in May 1997. The 26-year-old man was acquitted in his first trial in April 1998.
The Japan Times: Jan. 18, 2003
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Death row inmate, lawyers seek state compensation.
Attorney-Client secrecy privelage has been violated
High court rejects disclosure of design drawing of execution chamber
The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday rejected a request by an Osaka lawyer that the state disclose a drawing of the death chamber at the Osaka detention house, upholding a lower court ruling. Presiding Judge Tatsuki Inada said, “As it is a detailed and precise design drawing, its disclosure will make it easier to help death row inmates break away or for outside people to break them out.”
The plaintiff, Tomoyoshi Emura, asked the court to rescind the state’s decision in 2004 not to disclose the drawing, compiled by the Justice Ministry in 1965, which shows the allocations of each room and gateway as well as the thickness of the walls. In January this year, the Tokyo District Court rejected the suit, saying the disclosure may affect the mental states of death row inmates and will cause trouble in the execution process.