Japanese Don't Want Their Day in Court

Traditional values clash with forthcoming jury-style system
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2007 7:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – Japan is switching to a jury-style system in 2009, but according to polls, 80% of Japanese don't want to serve. The new system clashes with traditional Japanese values, including deferral to authority and a reluctance to argue in public. To help win over the public, mock trials are being held all over the country, the New York Times reports.

In the mock trials, jury members are often reluctant to speak directly to each other, and have to be grilled by judges in order to voice an opinion. “To not speak is considered a virtue" in Japan, says the leader of a Japanese theater group putting on a version of "12 Angry Men" in honor of the occasion (Read more Japan stories.)