DOI: 10.1111/hojo.12550 ISSN: 2059-1098

A place for public concerns in parole decision making in Japan

Saori Toda
  • Law


In recent years, parole decision makers have grappled with an intensifying challenge in addressing public concerns. While discussions on the rise of ‘parole populism’ have emerged, especially in Canada, the United States, Australia and England and Wales, little is known about the way public concerns influence parole release in Japan. This article engages in legal‐systematic analysis of the intricate relationship between public concerns and Japanese parole decision making in general and release from life imprisonment in particular. The article argues that, while Japanese selective parole decision making considering public concerns in secrecy may have partially contributed to political rhetoric encouraging parole, it also poses unique challenges distinct from those in Anglophone jurisdictions. It reveals the value of fostering a transparent and accountable parole decision‐making system to promote a more balanced and fairer approach to parole in the Japanese context.

More from our Archive