Source: (1989) In: M. Wright and B. Galaway (eds.), Mediation and Criminal Justice: Victims, Offenders and Community. London: Sage Publications, pp. 195-211.

This chapter describes Japan's dual tracked justice system. The formal process is governed by substantive and procedural rules of special statutes, codes, and constitution common to the criminal justice systems of other industrial countries in the West. The paralleling informal process has no Western analogue, involving a pattern of confession, repentance, and absolution. From the initial police interrogation to the final judicial hearing on sentencing, the vast majority of those accused of criminal offenses in Japan, confess, display repentance, negotiate for their victims' pardon and submit to the mercy of the authorities. This chapter review the statistics on Japanese justice and the diversion of cases from the formal system.