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Old 06-23-2010, 03:19 AM
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Default Japan Tour: Japanese Prisons


Japan locks up about 63 people per 100,000 inhabitants (2008 figures) up from 36 people per 100,000 inhabitants in 1992. In other words just over 80,000 people are doing time in Japan.

This is a low number compared with the USA and the UK, where 760 people per 100,000 inhabitants (2008) and 153 per 100,000 inhabitants (2009) respectively are in jail.

Japan's prisons are strictly regimented with military-style discipline and aim to reform and rehabilitate offenders. Prisoners in Japan wear prison-issue uniforms. There are rules on the correct way to walk, talk, eat, sit and sleep. Punishments are handed out to prisoners who do not follow the rules.

The number of foreigners in the Japanese penal system is on the rise, with Fuchu Prison near Tokyo, the largest prison in Japan, holding around 500 foreigners from over 40 countries, according to the US Embassy in Tokyo. Tochigi Prison is the main prison in Japan holding foreign inmates.

Visitors can get an idea of Japanese prison life at the Abashiri Prison Museum in northern Hokkaido. At Meiji Mura, just outside Inuyama, there is part of the preserved Meiji-era Maebashi Prison, made completely of wood and resembling a bird cage. The main gate of Kanazawa Prison, dating from 1907 is also here.

Prison words

??? (keimusho), prison.

??? (ryuchijyo), a prison for holding people for as long as 23 days until they are convicted, or cleared of a offence.

US Embassy Information on Fuchu & Tochigi Prisons

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