Comparative Criminal Justice Systems : United States And Japan

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Comparative Criminal Justice Systems:
United States and Japan
Gabriel A. Alvear
Florida International University

Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: United States and Japan Most Americans know the key aspects of our criminal justice system, but fail to learn about criminal justice systems of other nations. However, it is important to learn about other country 's criminal justice systems in order to effectively compare it to ours. It helps us realize the faults in our justice system, and fix them. In this paper, I will be comparing the various aspects of the individualistic United States justice system to collectivist Japan 's. The first thing we will discuss is the vast cultural differences between the two aforementioned
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48). The United States has gained a reputation for mass imprisonment of mostly drug offenders. We have over two million individuals who are currently incarcerated in our prison system. Our incarceration rate per 100,000 population is 910 (Glaze & Kaeble, 2014). Japan 's incarceration rate pales in comparison at only 45 (Wagner, 2003). According to Reichel (2013), United States ' homicide rate per 100,000 population is 5.2, compared to Japan 's rate of 0.5 (p. 30). This is a very significant difference in a comparison of two advanced nations, as Japan 's homicide rate is less than one-tenth of the United States '. As for victimization rates, the United States once again leads at a 21.1% prevalence rate with Japan at a rate of 15.2% regarding 11 different crimes. (van Kesteren, Mayhew, & Nieuwbeerta, 2000). These crimes include car theft, theft from car, car vandalism, motor-cycle theft, bicycle theft, burglary, attempted burglary, robbery, personal theft, sexual incidents, and assaults/threats. Japan operates under the Eastern Asia legal tradition, whereas the United States operates under the common legal tradition. The differences are quite distinct. For example, according to Hahn (1983): Under the civil law traditions of Japan, a judge simply calls attention to the specific statute invoked as authority. In contrast,
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