Got off the train this morning amidst a protest. Rode down a different road from normal and noticed quite a disturbance on the normal path – around the court house.
Laws were passed in 2004 to set up a semi-jury judicial system. Traditionally, a panel of judges delivers decisions in court cases, but the Koizumi administration was often trying to push things in a more American direction. My understanding is that a small number of citizens would provide their input to the head judge, but in the end, he or she would still make the decision.
Today’s protest was in opposition to this system; however, their arguments are less than compelling. Mainly they are pushing polls that say about 80% of the public doesn’t want to participate and less than 20% do. From hearing people in America talk about jury duty, I would guess our numbers are similar. Just because people don’t want to do something, doesn’t mean it should be abandoned.
After all, 80% of the populace probably don’t want to pay taxes. For that matter, picking up their dog’s poop, changing their infant’s diapers, and scrubbing the toilet might get similar numbers. However, if any of these is neglected there are consequences.
Also, names of supporters are listed on the flier, but most of them are writers, comic artists, and journalists. Why those people are experts in generating a just legal process, I don’t know.
Anyhow, a number of cameras were out and I had a little variation to my morning routine. Tonight, I found out a little more detail.