If you are going to use a story from the Mainichi Daily News, please include in your story that the article you mentioned may not be what all appears.
Doesn't it seem strange to you that: "It's unclear how police traced the suspects" and the "19-year-old who can't be named for legal reasons," I'm sure it does since you wrote that.
I work as a computer consultant to the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and according to embassy officials (who will not go on record), Japan's legal system is rather third world and up to 50% of the Ministry of Justice is touched by Yakuza (mafia). Japanese cops move up in their career when they make "good" arrests and go down-permanently, when they make "wrong" arrests.
Japan has a 99.9% conviction rate, so you can guess how many wrong arrests are turned into "good" arrests by forcing confessions and such.
I was one of the few that beat the system due to some good Japanese cops providing evidence that the prosecutor and lead detective were trying to extort money out of my Japanese in-laws. But you don't want to hear about me, so how about Major Brown USMC. There are many more examples besides Major Brown.
The Japanese media is not as free as in the UK or Canada and the Japanese Ministry of Justice has tremendous control over what is printed or aired
here. CNN had a report about the Japanese media being on a short lease.
Please let your readers know that the Mainichi Daily News might be printing Ministry of Justice propaganda to make the police look good. In general, the higher up the career ladder a cop is, the more of an idiot he has become due to abandoning the Sherlock Holmes approach in favor of brute force confessions. Innocence is irrelevant here. No jury trials, just back room conversations between judges and prosecutors, prison terms based on confessions.
Japan, a polite police state.
And now for a response to Mr. Zybrand's letter.
I am Japanese from Tokyo, used to live in Southeast Asia for a few years and now living in Belgium for 3 years.
I think it's fine that some people like Mr Zybrands raised his voice over Japan's "polite police" or try to bring such an unfortunate case like Major Brown's back in spotlight.
But in my point of view, this is totally unrelated to the fact of mysterious unearthing of P2P plot, and rather it is purely publicity for the support for Major Brown.
Having said that, the topic of US Service Men is something I have to comment on. I am sorry for Major Brown IF it is a false charge, but has one thought of other real cases? Teenage Japanese girls raped by US service men and they didn't even get the jail sentence because of the different laws governing the US bases in Japan? Have Americans' thought why this is so sensitive issue in Japan, particularly in Okinawa (in case of Major Brown, the accuser is not even a Japanese)? I've seen many US service men as well in Tokyo as there are a few bases in the neighbourhood. I can tell you that these people are mostly notorious not only among Japanese but among non-Japanese in Japan (my American friend always hated it if someone assumed him to be a service man). Have US embassy people ever wondered about that? Being far from their homeland, and being "scared" or treated "special" by Japanese or taking our politeness for granted, some US service men do mis-behave in Japan - and this is more than enough to gain such a reputation. I think any decent service men should be educated of such factors and learn to behave more carefully than when they were in their homeland before they are stationed in Japan, should they wish to combat their reputation.
Seeing the police practices in several countries, I must strongly oppose to Mr Zybrands' opinion and a quote of "embassy officials who will not go on record" that the Japanese police being third world and half of them are touched by yakuza. This is completely exaggerated! It may be true that the Japanese police is much politer than any other countries' police, and in some cases they are accused of "soft" or slow approaches on crimes, it could be that Okinawan police are prejudiced when it comes to dealing with US service men. But I want to ask this question: "is Japanese police worse than other countries' police"? In my opinion, NO! What happened to the US's CIA and FBI before and after the 911? Weren't there any Japanese-Americans treated unjustly by US police at the time and after war? US Police against minorities? I am sure of many real and false charges against Japanese citizens in the Philippines for sex crimes (the argument would be that this country could be rated as "third world", and minority of Japanese men do go there for "illegal" acts). What about mis-charges by Belgian police on Muslims, or Muslims or Africans accusing Belgian police of using excessive force (true or not)? Mafia ties of US or others? What about a Belgian man warned of being accused of assault who hit one of the Moroccan men trying to car-jack?
Lobby actions by big firms seems to work well particularly in the US politics, doesn't it? US attitude on Kyoto protocol? You start raising all these and there's no end to the story.
But I just couldn't stand reading the quotes as if Japanese police is the dumbest police or Okinawan police's injustice - Japanese police is not the only one.