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Considering Japanese Criminal Justice from an Original Position

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Title: Considering Japanese Criminal Justice from an Original Position
Authors: Levin, Mark A.
Keywords: Japan
Japanese Law
Criminal Justice
Comparative Criminal Justice
Danny Escobedo
show 9 moreAshikaga Murder case
Toshikazu Sugaya
Iwao Hakamada
Minorities in Japan
John Rawls
Veil of Ignorance
Wajin’s Whiteness
Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow

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Issue Date: May 2014
Publisher: SEKAI, 日本禁煙学会雑誌
Citation: Levin, M. Considering Japanese Criminal Justice from an Original Position. SEKAI, no. 857, pp. 112-121, June 2014
Related To: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1866366
Abstract: The criminal justice systems of the United States and Japan are both severely flawed. While some have worked hard to present these deep-seated problems to the public, the overall situation in either country is of stalled reform initiatives and ongoing injustices.

Race underlies a difference in how reform discussions proceed in the two nations. It is at the core of what ails the system in the U.S., as authors such as Professor Michelle Alexander have powerfully demonstrated. On the other hand, Japan’s would-be reformers operate in an atmosphere of widespread race obliviousness despite there being meaningful racial dynamics at play in Japan today.

This article, published in a leading Japanese public policy journal, offers that differences in public awareness of race in the two nations are salient. The article encourages reformers in Japan to contemplate this when strategizing their efforts. To that end, discourse that deploys John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance in his Theory of Justice into the Japanese public consciousness may provide a fruitful mechanism for improving the efficacy of reform efforts there. The criminal justice systems of the United States and Japan are both severely flawed. While some have worked hard to present these deep-seated problems to the public, the overall situation in either country is of stalled reform initiatives and ongoing injustices.

Race underlies a difference in how reform discussions proceed in the two nations. It is at the core of what ails the system in the U.S., as authors such as Professor Michelle Alexander have powerfully demonstrated. On the other hand, Japan’s would-be reformers operate in an atmosphere of widespread race obliviousness despite there being meaningful racial dynamics at play in Japan today.

This article, published in a leading Japanese public policy journal, offers that differences in public awareness of race in the two nations are salient. The article encourages reformers in Japan to contemplate this when strategizing their efforts. To that end, discourse that deploys John Rawls’ Veil of Ignorance in his Theory of Justice into the Japanese public consciousness may provide a fruitful mechanism for improving the efficacy of reform efforts there.
Pages/Duration: 21 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/46059
Appears in Collections:Levin, Mark A.



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