News analysis

Japan's justice system comes under scrutiny

Country on the defensive after Ghosn's flight and broadside

Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn, after escaping from Japan on Dec 29, seen here arriving for a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday.
Nissan's former chairman Carlos Ghosn, after escaping from Japan on Dec 29, seen here arriving for a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, on Wednesday.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Japan has been forced onto the defensive after Carlos Ghosn, the auto titan turned international fugitive, unleashed a broadside against its justice system, comparing it to "North Korea, China and Soviet Russia".

Ghosn's flight from justice in Japan on Dec 29 will unlikely be condoned by anyone but some Japanese lawyers, as well as human rights advocates, have long urged a review of practices such as prolonged detention and barring lawyers from being present when suspects are questioned.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2020, with the headline 'Japan's justice system comes under scrutiny'. Subscribe