Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jury trials in Japan will test intellectual and familial culture


Norimitsu Orishi has an interesting story in the Monday July 15, 2007 The New York Times, p. 1, “Japan Learns Dreaded Task of Jury Duty.” The link is here (may require a registration or purchase). The story relates some mock court exercises to prepare for introducing jury trials, guaranteed in the United States by the Bill of Rights, in Japan in 2009. The story notes that Japanese culture resists “questioning authority” provided by family and business structures, and expressing opinions in public. I’m not sure what this means with the issue of young people and blogging in Japan.

However, as I’ve noted on my main blog, it is the ability to think critically, question authority, and speak freely that is essential to breaking the hold of special interests and formal lobbying in a democracy.

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