Legislative revisions allow for GPS tracking of defendants on bail

Japan’s state legislature has passed a law allowing the tracking of bail defendants using GPS devices. This is because the number of people granted bail has increased in recent years.

The bill to amend the Criminal Procedure Code and other laws passed the House of Lords on Wednesday. It was passed by the House of Commons last month.

Several people accused of crimes have escaped on bail in Japan recently. In a high-profile case in 2019, former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn fled to Lebanon while awaiting trial on financial misconduct charges.

Under the revised law, defendants will be required to wear GPS devices while on bail if courts deem it necessary. The measure is intended to prevent the accused from fleeing abroad.

If suspects enter airports, seaports or a facility that has been banned from them, law enforcement officials will track them down and arrest them.

If a person released on bail fails to appear in court or stays away from a court-designated residence longer than permitted, the person faces up to two years in prison.

The legislative revisions also include provisions to strengthen protections for victims of sex crimes and other crimes. If deemed necessary, judges and prosecutors can refrain from providing victims’ personal information, such as their names and addresses, to suspected criminals during the conduct of criminal proceedings.

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