03 May 2008

Japan's Unsavory Side

A few unsavory aspects of Japan have recently caught my eye.

One is its criminal justice system which provides weak protections to those accused of crimes, a situation exemplified in the case of a Japanese man who has been on death row for forty years, based upon a two to one vote of judges reviewing his coerced confessions.

A second is the high suicide rate in Japan, twice that of the United States and one of the highest in the world.

A third is the fact that Japan accounts for just under 50% of the export revenues of Sudan, presumably mostly from oil exports. China, which has been the target of international condemnation for its support of the Sudanese economy, accounts for another 30% or so of Sudanese exports (also mostly oil). There is little public indication that Japan has exerted its economic importance to Sudan to push the regime towards improved respect for human rights.

No comments: