Justice in Japan
The Notorious Teijin Scandal
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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I wish to express my gratitude to those who aided in the publication this book. I am indebted to Suzuki Yoshio and Imai Nakaba for providing valuable material and to Ohno Masao for correcting an error. I would like to thank Amanda Crowell for typing the manuscript. A special debt of...
Teijin Trial Defendants
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A Note on the Transliteration of Japanese Words
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The sensational Teijin scandal of the 1930s was Japan’s most notable interwar political bribery case. Compared to numerous Japanese corruption cases of the past century, the Teijin affair not only stands out as the most sensational of the pre-1945 era, but is also a leading candidate for the most important corruption case, because it left an indelible mark on the public...
Chapter 1: Criminal Justice System
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The Tokugawa regime (1603–1867) was a transcendental administrative state in which superiors issued orders or delegated power to inferiors; the outstanding trait of this political system was a lack of legal redress against authority.1 A long peace and commercial development, however, stimulated the emergence of two essentials of positive law: decrees...
Chapter 2: Background of the Scandal
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Since the Teijin scandal and subsequent prosecution arose from a stock sale, a brief look at customary business practices, economic conditions, joint-stock companies, and “artificial silk” is called for. Furthermore, the state of business ethics, as judged by scholars and businessmen, is presented below in order to explain the press and public willingness to believe...
Chapter 3: Saitō Cabinet
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A proper understanding of the Teijin Company stock sale scandal, which destroyed the Saitō Cabinet, demands a close look at the cabinet’s origins. Only by embedding the Teijin scandal in a “thick” history of politics can an observer gain proper insights into this complicated affair. The politics of the Saitō Cabinet era, like the politics of earlier years, was a battle to control the cabinet. Immediately after the formation of the...
Chapter 4: Preparation for the Trial
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Neither Kuroda’s death nor a cabinet change stopped Tokyo procurators’ preparations for preliminary court hearings. Former minister Nakajima was interrogated by procurators after the Saitō Cabinet fell and was indicted; former minister Mitsuchi was questioned in August but not indicted until September. As suspects were arrested, between April 28 and September 13, 1934, procurators indicted them for various crimes. In...
Chapter 5: Trial
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The trial began on June 22, 1935, and ended on October 5, 1937. Judges issued a verdict on December 16. Thus, the Teijin scandal resulted in the longest district criminal court trial in pre-1945 Japan; it continued for a record-setting 265 sessions, excluding the day the verdict was issued. There were criminal cases that lasted longer, but they involved appeals to higher courts. Fujii Goichirō, who presided over the sensational Blood...
Chapter 6: Aftermath
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Even as the public chuckled over the monkey-moon analogy, Imamura Rikisaburō’s courtroom defense summary was being set in metal type. Teijin Incident Summation (Teijin jiken benron) was privately issued on January 1, 1938. This book, which presented the public with details about...
Chapter 7: Postwar
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Criticism of the criminal justice system was reinforced after August 1945 by the views of foreign reformers. During the American-dominated occupation, the problems of abuses by police and procurators as well as flaws in the court system were revisited. Thus, criminal justice system reforms put in place during the early postwar era are a synergetic...
Chapter 8: Conclusion
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Tokyo District Court procurators had the authority to suspend prosecution or to indict Teijin stock sale suspects. Without indictments, this business scandal would probably have faded from public view with the conclusion of the Jiji shinpō series. But Procurators Kuroda Etsurō and Biwada Gensuke zealously pursued this investigation, indicting important...
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Publication Year: 2002