TIMES (2005) ON DETENTIONS AND EXTRALEGAL POWERS OF
THE JAPANESE POLICE FORCES
(with Japan Times articles on 2004 police Al-Qaeda witch hunt and Himu Case, and Asia Times on upcoming "Conspiracy Law")
follows is an excellent summary from the Japan Times on what's wrong
criminal justice system. To
wit: presumption of guilt,
extreme police powers
of detention, jurisprudential incentives for using them, lack of
or accountability during investigation, and a successful outcome of a
hinging on arrest and conviction, not necessarily on proving guilt or
innocence. This has long
since reached an extreme: almost
anything that goes to trial in a
Japanese criminal court results in a conviction.
have discussed this in the past on www.debito.org
), but the lesson to take home is:
get detained by police in Japan, you will get grilled.
And if during the weeks of grilling you give
the police what they want (a signed confession), you will go to jail--
of how much duress they put you under to extract it.
is especially necessary for you to know as Japan's police continue to
racial profiling and foreigner targeting as public policy. The chances of you being put under
lamp have never been higher. I
have a Japan Times article out on one aspect of this next week. Best wishes, Arudou Debito in
system flawed by presumed guilt
advocates slam interrogation without counsel, long
Japan Times: Oct. 13,
criminal justice system lacks a fundamental notion that is manifest in
parts of the democratized world: the presumption of innocence,
human rights advocates.
are still forced to make false confessions during interrogations in
representation is banned, and custody can last up to 23 days before
filed, lawyers and people who claim to have or were determined to have
falsely accused told a recent public meeting in Tokyo held by the Japan
Federation of Bar Associations.
suspects are often detained in a police "daiyo kangoku" substitute
prison for up to 23 days before indictment, and release on bail is
long as they plead innocent or remain silent.
lawyer Yoshihiro Yasuda, who was arrested in 1998 and charged with
the compulsory seizure of building rental income used by his client as
collateral, told the meeting, "The investigators shouted obscenities at
to extract a confession."
claimed they told him it is cowardly to invoke the right to remain
said he should take responsibility as a lawyer. He was held for almost
and found not guilty by the Tokyo District Court in 2003. Prosecutors
verbal abuse is enough to alter a prisoner's mental state, even without
direct threat of physical violence, said Yasuda, a campaigner against
penalty and the chief defense lawyer for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko
authorities detain people not out of concern that they might destroy
or escape, but in order to force them to confess," he said.
said that after he was charged he was transferred to a detention house
under round-the-clock camera surveillance. "Still, the detention house
better than the substitute prison.
can we achieve the principle of presumption of innocence in Japan under
circumstances?" Yasuda asked.
Sugiyama, who was once sentenced to life in prison for a 1967
Ibaraki Prefecture, also suffered severe and unreasonable
"It is useless, whatever you say during a police investigation," he
was paroled in 1996 after serving 29 years in prison since his arrest.
petition for a retrial was accepted by the Mito District Court in
told police that I was not involved in the case, but they claimed
testified that I was, and that I would be hanged if I refused to come
clean," Sugiyama said, referring to the "Fukawa Incident."
finally broke down and confessed during police grilling, but he pleaded
guilty in court.
lawyers were available while I was in police custody. I believed judges
accept what I said, but I was wrong," he said.
part of reform efforts, the JFBA has urged the government to abolish
prison system, because the police control results in people being
accused, having their human rights violated and their right to counsel
detainees should be presumed innocent and thus guaranteed decent
ordinary citizens, confined with minimal restrictions," the lawyer
has also called for the government to videotape interrogations so
not be forced to confess and their rights will be fully guaranteed.
Human Rights Committee under the United Nations expressed concerns over
criminal justice system in 1998 in response to the government's fourth
periodical human rights report.
committee "strongly" recommended that reforms be made to the practice
of holding detainees for 23 days without bail or full access to lawyers.
also voiced concern over the substitute prison system, which, though
a branch of police not dealing with investigations, is not under the
a separate authority. This can increase the chances of detainees'
at the Tokyo meeting, Makoto Teranaka, secretary general of Amnesty
International Japan, said that Japan's criminal justice system does not
international standards as it attaches too much importance on
does not allow lawyers to accompany suspects during interrogations.
also stressed that videotaping interrogations would have merit even for
investigative side, saying, "Investigators would be prepared if
change their statements and counter possible claims that suspects were
physically abused or forced to make confessions."
said, however, that the current system will not improve even if
I was detained, friends advised me to plead guilty so I could be
bail," he told the audience. "I want you to understand that being
detained is horrible enough to make my friends tell me to admit to
did not commit.
is necessary to terminate the substitute prison system, where
allowed to treat suspects at their own discretion, and to improve the
criminal justice system, under which people are detained based on
reasons, including the fear of destroying evidence or escape," Yasuda
Japan Times: Oct. 13,
Japan Times and Asia Times articles on 2004 police Al-Qaeda witch hunt and Himu Case:
This is a case study on the emergent power of the Japanese Police
Forces under a new "Conspiracy Law". Documents are arranged to
lead you through the issue: A) "Japan Times (2005) on Detentions
and Extralegal Powers..." (see above
describes how much power Japan's law enforcement has over criminal
investigations and suspects (and how, with the police's tendencies
towards racial profiling, this will lead to further foreigner targeting
and scapegoating). B) Asia Times, May 12, 2006, "The return of
'thought crimes' in Japan" describes what's wrong with the "Conspiracy
Law" currently being debated by the Diet. Then c) four Japan
Times articles ("Terrorist kept calling Japan", "NPA report...", "I
want to to clear my name...", "Alleged al-Qaeda link seeks
vindication") depicting the Himu Case, of a Bangladeshi falsely accused
in 2004 of having terrorist links.
Point: Even before any Conspiracy Law, the Japanese police
already have used their extensive investigative and media powers to
target and defame foreigners with very tenuous connections to the
accused, destroying lives and livelihoods, offering no retraction or
apology to set the record straight or rehabilitate the victim if
mistakes are made. Now, the likely passage of the Conspiracy Law
, in this age of fears of terrorism (with "terrorism" explicitly seen
as an overseas phenomenon by the National Police Agency; see Japan
Times article May 24, 2005, "Here Comes the Fear", contained in Folder
One), will grant powers to target foreigners even more. Simply
being a friend or neighbor, or even by chance having the same
nationality of a foreign suspect, will be enough to warrant arrest on
charges of possible "conspiracy", causing grueling detentions and
ASIA TIMES ON DRAFT "CONSPIRACY LAW" IN JAPAN
A good primer on a very controversial law, the Kyoubouzai Houan,
currently being debated in the Diet, which the media and the lawyers
groups have been railing against for quite some time now. It's
another step in the direction of the police-power state, which with
enough fears stoked of terrorism may indeed come to pass if we are not
The return of 'thought crimes' in Japan
By Scott North
Asia Times May 12, 2006
Japan's government is pushing for the passage of an anti-conspiracy law
with potentially far-reaching consequences. Called the Kyoubouzai Hoan
(conspiracy or collusion law), the legislation appears headed for
passage in the diet (parliament) as soon as next week. In its present
form, it could result in Japanese citizens being detained or punished
for merely agreeing with one another.
In combination with another statute that permits detention without
charge, the new law could have a chilling effect on civil liberties,
including freedoms of speech and assembly and the right to organize.
Domestic critics of the plan say it evokes comparison with the
pre-World War II Peace Preservation Law, which made opposing the war a
thought crime. The proposed statute is a vaguely worded, two-sentence
amendment to an existing law. It defines "conspiracy" as an agreement,
whether overt or tacit, fanciful or earnest, between two or more people
that might be construed as planning to violate any statute for which
the minimum sentence is four years or more. There are currently 619
such statutes, and more could be added by changing the minimum sentence
Lawyers say that a husband and wife imagining nefarious ways to get
back at their landlord for raising their rent fit the amendment's
definition of a "group" planning criminal activity. Labor-union members
brainstorming ways to resist harsh workplace practices could be held
for colluding to violate laws that prohibit interfering with business
activity. Teens discussing how to hot-wire cars could be held on
conspiracy charges even if they did not attempt to act on their
Simply belonging to a group or being in the same room where such
conversations take place could make a person subject to the new law. No
crime need be actually carried out for the police to detain suspects.
Failing to report overheard conspiratorial talk could be construed
In the postwar era, Japanese law has generally punished only crimes
actually committed or attempted. In cases such as murder or arson,
prison time is sometimes given to accomplices who knowingly provide
weapons or gasoline. However, punishment for conspiracy alone has been
limited to rare cases of sedition.
The statute promises co-conspirators who reveal plans to the police
reduced sentences or immunity from prosecution. People fear the new law
would encourage self-censorship or spying in non-profit organizations,
churches, labor unions, and political groups. Constitutional guarantees
of freedom of speech and assembly, as well as protections against
searches and seizures, could be rendered null. Various forms of
cyber-communication could be mined for incriminating agreements.
Much would depend on enforcement. Japan's police have a well-documented
tendency to assume the guilt of those detained and have been known to
conduct lengthy interrogations aimed at extracting confessions, rather
than exerting themselves in pursuit of corroborative evidence. New
detention facilities currently under construction give domestic
observers pause to consider the government's motives for bringing this
law now. The ruling party's smug reluctance to acknowledge the
amendment's shortcomings or extend debate on the matter is also cause
The rationale for the legislation is that Japan is a signatory to a
United Nations treaty designed to stop international organized criminal
activity. But the draft amendment makes no mention of the treaty, which
Japan's UN representatives originally opposed as unnecessary. A Kyoto
student group used Japan's version of the US Freedom of Information Act
to get the transcripts of the committee that drafted the amendment.
They reportedly received pages in which most of the text had been
Japan already has domestic laws against organized criminal groups. The
new conspiracy provision raises the specter that much daily speech and
activity could be criminalized or made subject to police scrutiny, if
not immediately, then at some time in the future.
Japan should reflect on the historical lesson that threats born of free
thought and speech are nothing compared with the corrosive power of
unchecked authority. One need look no further than Guantanamo Bay or
Japan's own history for persuasive examples of why this amendment is
Scott North PhD is associate professor, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University.
Terrorist kept calling Japan
Al-Qaeda member phoned Japanese, Muslims after exit
The Japan Times: Saturday, May 22, 2004
A senior al-Qaeda operative
who hid from Interpol in the city of Niigata for more than a year made phone calls to two Japanese and 11 foreign Muslim men in Japan
after he left the country last year, investigative sources said.
The latest investigations into Lionel Dumont, a 33-year-old French
national of Algerian descent, revealed that the two Japanese -- a man
in Yokohama's Hodogaya Ward and a woman in Kawaguchi, Saitama
Prefecture -- were among the 13 people Dumont called.
This is the first time details about the identities of the 13 have been made public.
The investigations show that Dumont, who was arrested in Germany last
December, entered Japan on July 17, 2002, from Singapore with a forged
French passport under the name Tinet Gerald Camille Armand.
His last exit from Japan, to Malaysia, was on Sept. 14, 2003. Records
show he made a few trips to Germany and Malaysia during his stay in
Investigators are now investigating the Muslim men
their relationships with Dumont and their possible links with al-Qaeda.
Many of them are married to Japanese and sell used cars, the sources
While in Niigata, Dumont was also a used-car dealer.
When Dumont made phone calls to the 11 men, they were living in a
number of different locations, including Meguro, Shinjuku and Shibuya
wards in Tokyo, sources said.
The sources said he also called Toda, Saitama Prefecture, Maebashi,
Takasaki and Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture, Niigata and Toyosaka in
Niigata Prefecture, and Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture.
The 11 men come from Pakistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Guinea,
where Muslims are a majority, the sources said, adding that most of
them entered Japan in the mid-1990s or later.
Investigative sources also said Dumont opened a postal savings account
under the name of Tinet and frequently remitted money to four or five
of the 11 Muslim men.
The Japan Times: Saturday, May 22, 2004
Police round up five in al-Qaeda probe
The Japan Times: Thursday, May 27, 2004
Compiled from Kyodo, staff reports
Police on Wednesday arrested five men suspected of violating
immigration and other laws as part of an investigation into an alleged
senior member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network who spent time in
Japan. Police raid an office Wednesday in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, as part
of searches around Japan in connection with an alleged senior member of
the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Arrested were Islam Mohamed Himu
33, a Bangladeshi residing in Toda, Saitama Prefecture; Bangladeshi
Ahmed Faishal, 26, of Kawaguchi; Kane Yaya, 41, a Mali national living
in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward; construction worker Syed Naseer Syed Gaffar,
32, an Indian national living in the village of Higashi, Gunma
Prefecture; and Md Muktar Hossain, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi living in
The arrests were made during searches of more than 10 locations in
Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Gunma and Niigata prefectures that included
the homes and offices of foreign Muslims living in Japan.
It was recently learned that Lionel Dumont, 33, a French national of
Algerian descent believed to be a senior al-Qaeda member, lived in
Japan until September. He made telephone calls to these locations after
he left Japan and before his arrest in Germany in December.
It is the first time that Japanese authorities have arrested people believed to be tied to key al-Qaeda members.
Faishal and Hossain were arrested for allegedly illegally entering
Japan. Yaya and Gaffar were arrested on suspicion of overstaying their
Police said Himu ran a cellular phone sales firm from his home, and
sold prepaid cell phones from outlets in areas such as Tokyo's
Akihabara district. Faishal was one of his employees.
Investigative sources said Dumont had frequently called Himu
, who came to Japan in November 1995 and became a permanent resident after marrying a Japanese woman.
Himu was arrested for allegedly falsely stating in corporate
registration documents in July that a 34-year-old Philippine woman was
living in Japan and working as the representative director of a limited
liability company in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture. The woman had in
fact left the country two months earlier.
Investigative sources said the police suspect that a network centered
around Dumont was trying to establish a base in Japan to help al-Qaeda.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda told a regular news conference
in the morning that the government has information that al-Qaeda
members have entered and left Japan to contact "various people."
"I have heard that the people who they had contacted have been
identified to considerable extent," Hosoda said. "I sincerely hope that
the truth behind their activities and intentions will be uncovered."
The police will investigate cash flows of Dumont and the others. Dumont
is known to have opened a postal savings account from which he
deposited and withdrew several hundred thousand yen on each of about 45
occasions during a one-month period after entering Japan in 2002, the
According to the investigations, Dumont used a forged French passport
to enter Japan from Singapore under the name Tinet Gerald Gamille
Armand on July 17, 2002. He was already on an Interpol wanted list.
The Japan Times: Thursday, May 27, 2004
NPA report lists the usual suspects: Islamic terrorists, Aum, Pyongyang
The Japan Times: Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004
terrorist organizations run by Islamic extremists are expected to
continue carrying out attacks worldwide, and the possibility of Japan
becoming a target cannot be ruled out, the National Police Agency
in an annual report on security released this week.
The agency's report for 2004 warns that Japan could be targeted, citing
the repeated entries into Japan by French national Lionel Dumont,
believed linked to al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists.
Dumont lived in Japan for about a year and traveled abroad from Japan
several times on a fake passport, according to a police investigation.
The NPA report says, "The is a fear that terrorists may take advantage of the Islamic community in Japan."
Earlier this year, police arrested several people who had had contact
with Dumont, alleging they committed immigration law violations and
other offenses, as part of their probe into the Frenchman's activities.
possibly be used as a place to recruit terrorists, gather information
and raise funds for terrorist groups, the NPA said
in the report.
The report urges Japanese nationals to be cautious abroad because they
could become victims of terrorism, citing the killing of freelance
journalists Shinsuke Hashida and Kotaro Ogawa in an attack near Baghdad
Last month, another Japanese, tourist Shosei Koda, was captured and
later beheaded by terrorists who had demanded the withdrawal of the
Ground Self-Defense Force troops from the southern Iraq city of Samawah.
On North Korea, the NPA report says the reclusive state will probably
bolster its effort to normalize diplomatic relations with Japan in
order to get economic support from Tokyo.
The report says the NPA will tighten security to counter North Korean
agents and continue investigating the abductions of Japanese by North
Korea in the late 1970s and 1980s.
The NPA has said in the past it suspects the North Korean ferry
Mangyongbong-92, which calls at Niigata port to serve pro-Pyongyang
Korean residents living in Japan, is involved in espionage and other
This week's report reiterates this allegation saying the ferry may be
involved in secretly moving money and goods to North Korea, as well as
bringing agents here.
The report also says continued caution is needed regarding Aum Shinrikyo.
It says there is a "danger" that the cult, whose members conducted the
1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo and another nerve gas attack a year
earlier, "could engage in organized illegal activities, as the cult has
returned to its starting line" by emphasizing the authority of Shoko
Asahara, the cult founder now on death row.
Asahara is currently appealing the death sentence handed down by the Tokyo District Court in February.
The Japan Times: Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004
THE ZEIT GIST
'I want to clear my name and the name of my country'
High-profile arrest, low-key release spells disaster for Bangladeshi businessman and his compatriots living in Japan
By TONY MCNICOL
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004
One morning Islam Mohamed Himu woke up to find the Japanese media
camped outside his home, and plainclothes police officers banging on
his front door.
Islam Mohamed Himu says that he has "lost it all" since his arrest. "I am zero... no, not zero, minus."
"They arrested me in front of my wife, in front of my children. My wife
was crying, my daughter was crying, I was crying. I told them 'you have
made a mistake' but they arrested me by force."
So began a Kafkaesque ordeal for the 33-year-old Bangladeshi. The
morning of his arrest he woke up the proud father of two young children
and a successful businessman. Twenty-four hours later he was being interrogated in a police cell and the world's media were linking his face and name with international terrorism
Himu wasn't to see his wife, son and daughter for another seven weeks and one day.
interrogated from morning till night 6 days a week, first in Kanagawa,
then for 20 straight days without a break in Tokyo.
During that time, the media speculated excitedly (and wrongly) over the
reasons for his arrest: that Himu was an al-Qaeda cell leader; that he
was a money launderer and spy for the terrorist organization. Yet when
Himu was released he was charged with nothing more than employing two
illegal aliens, and was fined 300,000 yen.
confirmation of his innocence was met with a deafening silence from the
very same media that had loudly relayed details of the police's
He says that his business has been destroyed, his reputation left in tatters.
"I can't even send anything by express mail. I try to use my company's
name and they say they cannot do business (with me). People still think
I am in al-Qaeda."
The first hint Himu had that something was amiss came about a week
before his arrest when a TV crew turned up at his office with a
photograph of a man they wanted to know if Himu recognized.
Himu remembered him only as "Samir," a man he had met at a mosque in Gunma Prefecture in 1999.
In fact, the man in the photo was Lionel Dumont, a French national
suspected of being linked to al-Qaeda and attempting to set up a
terrorist cell in Tokyo.
Dumont had lived freely in Japan for several years before being
arrested in Germany and extradited to France and was one of several
hundred customers for Himu's pre-paid telephone card business. Himu
says he had no knowledge of Dumont's alleged al-Qaeda links.
Himu's lawyer, Takeshi Furukawa believes that "the police neglected Mr.
Himu's human rights, and publicly announced the allegation of his being
a member of al-Qaeda to the mass media, though this allegation was
completely unrelated to the reasons given for his arrest."
Furukawa says that the police deliberately leaked details of their
investigation to the press and implied that Himu was guilty.
The question is why?
Furukawa believes it was an attempt to save face on the part of the police.
The police had been shown up by their failure to apprehend Dumont --
and apparently even to know that he had been in Japan. "It was probably
a complete loss of face for the police," he says. "They had to show the
public that they were dealing with foreigners properly as well . . .
the police used the media."
On the day of his arrest, the Asahi Shimbun reported on the police's investigation of Himu's office opposite Yokosuka base.
The article had a surprisingly detailed account of the police's
actions: an unnamed source in the Kanagawa police was quoted as saying
that a foreigner had been seen observing the U.S. naval base through
binoculars from Himu's fourth floor office -- something Himu's lawyer
dismisses as "completely made-up."
Himu says he chose the location in order to sell phone-cards to
soldiers and other foreign nationals at the base, and that, in any
case, the view of the base from his office is almost completely
obscured by a signboard.
The police for their part have issued a statement to the media saying
that "an appropriate investigation took place in adherence with the
ARUDOU DEBITO: Which means that under proposed new "Conspiracy
Laws", even sharing the same nationality of a criminal suspect can be
grounds for arrest for "conspiracy".]
But Himu's arrest didn't just mean personal disaster for him.
In the following weeks, hundreds of Bangladeshis in Tokyo were singled out for police attention on account of their nationality.
And members of the Bangladeshi community say that the numbers of
illegal Bangladeshi workers arrested and deported in June was some
three times the average monthly amount.
"The police just shut their eyes to the illegal workers because they
are necessary to the economy, but when something happens they crack
down," says Monzurul Huq, a Tokyo-based Bangladeshi journalist.
"Bangladeshis were very afraid the whole time Himu was under arrest."
Since the Japanese media has largely left reports linking Himu to
al-Qaeda uncorrected, Japanese people who knew relatively little about
Bangladesh in the first place, now associate the country with terrorism.
"Japanese people know that Bangladesh is a poor country and that they
are sending Bangladesh help, but suddenly Bangladeshi has been tainted
The problems started the day after Himu was arrested, says Bangladeshi
businessman Dulal Chowdhory. "One of my staff's mother came to the
office and said her daughter would stop working (for me) because maybe
Bangladeshis are involved with al-Qaeda."
Journalist Huq organized a news conference to help Himu tell his story
to the Western media, but he questions why the Japanese media has
largely failed to correct their mistakes. "No one has apologized
. . . is it because Himu comes from a poor third world country?"
Himu says that
when he calls friends and businesses connections they ask him not to
call again, fearing trouble from the authorities.
His 3-year-old daughter is still has been affected by the shock of
seeing 14 police officers enter their home and take her father away by
force. Himu's mother in Bangladesh has been sick in hospital since she
heard of his arrest.
"I lost my trust, my company. I lost the company I named after my son,"
says Himu. "What money I had, I lost it all. I am zero . . . no, not
Yet, one Bangladeshi friend has some cold comfort for Himu. Despite his
ruined livelihood and reputation, it could be worse, she says.
"At least he is free. If they had found anything at all they thought was suspicious, he could be in Guantanamo now."
Send your comments to: email@example.com
The Japan Times: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2004
Alleged al-Qaeda link seeks vindication
Bangladeshi wants apology, claims he was falsely accused by police, press
The Japan Times: Saturday, April 2, 2005
A Bangladeshi businessman who was incorrectly alleged by police and the
media last year as being linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network is
Investigators held Islam Mohamed Himu for 43 days but ultimately found he had no links to al-Qaeda.
Himu said that even since being freed, he has struggled to get his life
and business back on track. He has filed a complaint of human rights
violations with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.
"I want to ask senior officials of the government or police: what was my fault?" Himu said in an interview.
"The Japanese police and media have destroyed my life," said the 34-year-old, who runs a telecommunications company in Tokyo.
"I want them to
apologize and restore my life," he said, urging the government to help
him obtain visas to make business trips to several countries that have
barred his entry following the allegations.
Himu came to Japan in 1995 with his Japanese wife, whom he had met in
Canada. After establishing a firm in Tokyo that mainly sells prepaid
international phone cards, he obtained permanent residency in 2000.
Police arrested him last May 26 and issued a fresh warrant June 16.
They alleged he had falsified a corporate registration and illegally
hired two employees, including his brother.
While in custody, investigators mostly asked if he had any links to
al-Qaeda, noting that a Frenchman suspected of being in al-Qaeda bought
prepaid phone cards from him several times, according to Himu.
He said he tried to prove he had no connection with terrorists, telling
police the Frenchman was one of several hundred customers and he had no
idea the man used an alias.
However, police dismissed his claim, he said, and leaked to major media
organizations, including Kyodo, their suspicions that he was involved
with al-Qaeda, and all of them reported the allegations.
Himu said he believes police arrested him as a scapegoat even though they knew he had no link with al-Qaeda.
He was nabbed shortly after the media reported that the Frenchman had stayed in Japan in 2002 and 2003.
Prosecutors did not indict him on the first charge, while a court fined
him 300,000 yen on the second charge. He was released on July 7.
Himu said the
prosecutors' failure to indict proves he was not an al-Qaeda member,
but it did not necessarily constitute a public apology.
All his employees left following the release of the sketchy police
information, and he now has 120 million yen in debts due to the
disruption of his business, he claimed.
The Japan Times: Saturday, April 2, 2005