All penal institutions in Japan are national facilities under the jurisdiction of the Correction Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

By the end of 2009, the prison population has risen to 75,250, or 59 prisoners per 100,000.One reason for the rise is a large increase in the number of elderly being convicted of crimes, with loneliness being cited as a major factor.

Chiba Detention Centre


Watch this movie to see how drug mules get caught! 
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Govinda Prasad Mainali [Nepal]

Govinda Prasad Mainali left for Japan in 1994 to see the world. He worked as a waiter in Tokyo until Tokyo police arrested him in March 1997, first on the charge of overstaying his visa and then on the charge of murdering 39-year-old Yasuko Watanabe, who worked at Tokyo Electric Power Co and also moonlighted as a prostitute.

Mainali, who has consistently pleaded not guilty, has appealed for a retrial since 2005.


Govinda Prasad Mainali [Nepal]
4-2-2 Konan,
Kanagawa Pref. 233-8501 JAPAN


Letter from Govinda - Click Here

Is there Justice for Govinda?.... 

More about Govinda's plight .... 

Persecution of a Nepali citizen in Japan - Click Here

6 Sep 2011: Evidence concealed for 14 years could help Mainali
20 Sept 2011 Laywer calls for retrial
23 Jul 2011 New Hope Lifts Minali household
May 2009 Prosecutors unveil new evidence

Chris Snell Released from Japan Prison
Chris Snell, a lecturer in music at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Art (aka LIPA or Paul McCartney fame school), husband and father of two children, says he was set up by criminals who put drugs in his suitcase on his way from Switzerland to Japan.

Transferred to UK  - Chris Snell was transferred back to a prison in the UK on 26 October 2004. The transfer took 14 months. He will see a doctor and is reported to have several health problems resulting in his detainment in the Japanese prison. This is only the second transfer into the UK since the Prisoner Transfer Agreement was signed.

Urgent Update 5 Dec 2003 - Chris Snell is suffering badly in Fucha prison. He is believed to have the onset of Frost bite on his feet.
UPDATE AS OF 21/10/2003
- Chris Snell is in Funcha Prison now waiting for his transfer back to the UK to go through.

May 22, 2003 - Jail hell faces Lipa Lecturer

  • Click here to read more about Chris's case ....
  • Patric Loughlin released

    A north Wales man who has been released from jail in Japan after serving nearly four years for manslaughter has had an emotional reunion with family and friends.

    Patrick Loughlin, from Wrexham, was jailed for the killing of a man in 1999.

  • LATEST RELEASE PATRICK HAS BEEN RELEASED ... click here for article
  • Roberto Tokunaga (26):Brazilian laundry worker
    Roberto Tokunaga (26):Brazilian laundry worker, arrested in Nagano Prefecture in June 2000 for allegedly beating his daughter to death. Pronounced not guilty in May 2001 but later rearrested and held -- illegally, say supporters -- for ten months while prosecutors reworked his case. Tokyo High Court rejected earlier acquittal and sentenced Tokunaga on same evidence to five years in July 2002. Tokunaga claims his wife killed their daughter.

    A Tokyo High Court judge has ordered a Brazilian man to be jailed during his trial even though the defendant was found not guilty in an earlier trial.Click here
  • Click Here for recent news story....
  • Rosal Villanueva Manalili (31):Filipino

    Rosal M. Villanueva, a Filipina national convicted or murdering her live-in partner. Held illegally for ten days, not under arrest, she confessed to a crime which occurred while she was at a hospital visiting her sick daughter. Ultimately she was convicted based on a whimsical coroner's report which was contorted to the fit police prescription. Rosal was sentenced to 8 years in prison, the absolute minimum for homicide, judicial deference to the prosecution. Let it be known that the powers that be sat 3 prosecutors in this case, a number almost unknown in modern criminal cases.

    Rosal was released from the Chiba women's prison and has returned to the Philippines. She continues to illuminate and shine light upon all who come into her path.

    About the case

    Moraga Reyes Alejandro Andres (23):Chilean engineer
    Moraga Reyes Alejandro Andres (23):Chilean engineer accused January 2002 of robbing a Tokyo recycling shop and stealing a car in a separate incident in Nagano Pref. Pronounced not guilty for lack of evidence by summary court in Nagano in May 2003 but again detained while prosecutors appealed to the Tokyo High Court in June. Currently locked up in Tokyo Detention House awaiting High Court decision.

    10 Sept 2003 - Detention of aquitted prompts legal cross fire
    Terrance David Sheard - Released from a Japanese Prison
    On Wednesday, 21 September 2005, Foreign Prisoner Support Services was contacted by US Citizen, Terrance David Sheard, recently released from a Japanese prison. Terrance has kindly written the following account of his ordeal in the hope that he may highlight the suffering of those he left behind.

    “I want to tell my story because I promised my mates back in the Fuchu hellhole [Japan Prison] that I would try to expose the abuses and cruel treatment experienced daily by all Fuchu inmates. Can you [FPSS] please help me? I owe it to all those who are suffering under the draconian prison system in Japan to tell my story!” Terrance wrote.

  • Click Here for Terrance David Sheard's story
    (not complete)
    Name Country Sentence Age Building
    Heidi Speilhagen German - - - -
    Lauren Shmall South African - - - transfered to a Tokyo detention centre
    Legrand Oliver French 4 years 26 y/old as of 2004 - -
    Robert McCarty - 7 years - - Detained in Tokyo detention house - 1-35-1-A Kosuge, Katsushika, Tokyo 124-0001.
    UPDATE: Sept 2004 - Roberts brother has just informed us that the Japanese have approved a transfer on 5-10-2004 and Washighton has approved the transfer on 8-10-2004 and also expressed thanks for all the support and updated information.
    Samanther South African - - - Chiba detention centre
    Inside Fuchu Prison Japan
    Fuchu Prison,
    4-10 Harumi-cho
    Fuchu-shi Tokyo
    Japan 183-0057
    Fuchu Prison is the largest prison in Japan and contains both Japanese and foreign prisoners. The Japanese prisoners are male offenders 26 years old or over with prison terms of less than 8 years, who have past prison records, lack the desire for rehabilitation, and are difficult to treat. Many of the inmates are members of criminal organizations, substance abusers or vagrants. They are often more repeat offenders rather than truly dangerous criminals.

    Most foreign men convicted in Japan are held at Fuchu Prison. The number of foreign inmates is increasing yearly, and at present, more than 500 foreigners representing over 40 nationalities are found in the foreign inmate population. The vast majority of the prisoners eat Japanese style food.


    Upon admission to Fuchu Prison, the prisoners undergo a 15 day orientation and assessment period in which they are acquainted with the rules and regulations and assessed as to their skills and personality profile.


    The prison imposes a strict, military-like discipline in order to maintain the security, order, and safety of the institution and its inmates. The prisoners wear prison-issue uniforms and there is a prescribed way to walk, talk, eat, sit and sleep. Doing things the wrong way or at the wrong time will be punished. Similarly, good behavior is rewarded with more privileges. There are four grades of prisoners with increasing privileges accorded those of higher rank. Requests for assistance from the guard staff are done by gansen.

    As a result of the harsh discipline, the guards are able to exert near complete control over the prison and so guarantee the physical safety of the prisoners. As in a military boot camp, the system seems geared towards breaking down old behavior patterns and instilling a more disciplined self-control and an ability to function in groups. Fuchu Prison provides continuing guidance in self-discipline and social ethics for everyday life and there are monthly slogans and frequent personal counseling.


    Prisoners are generally allowed to write and meet only their family, their lawyer and their consul. They are not allowed to correspond with or have visits from friends. During the orientation period, the prisoners will be asked to make a list of their relatives which will be their authorized correspondents. There are limitations on the number of letters which prisoners can write but no limit on the number of letters they may receive.

    All mail is censored and the prisoners must pay for all postage, stationary, etc. There are strict limitations on communications between prisoners. Talking is permitted only at prescribed times during the day.

    Prisoners also have access to radio and television, books and newspapers during leisure hours. Furthermore, outside speakers are invited to give lectures. There are also physical exercises such as calisthenics and various ball games during exercise period. Foreign embassy staff members and authorized non-Japanese religious representatives also are available to assist foreign inmates.


    Fuchu Prison provides vocational training in auto mechanics, leather craft, woodworking, and ceramics, as well as supplementary education courses in Japanese. Foreign inmates are offered Japanese language lessons. Fuchu Prison maintains a library with over 5,000 books and magazines in English. Prisoners are also allowed to receive books from their relatives and to purchase books through the prison.


    Work is obligatory for inmates sentenced to imprisonment with forced labor, which includes the bulk of the population at Fuchu Prison. Inmates are assigned eight hours of work per day, 168 hours of work every four weeks. Suitable work is assigned to the inmate based on the results of the orientation assessment.

    In addition to the vocational training-related work, prisoners may do assembly work for outside contractors and work in various sections of the prison plant, e.g. the prison laundry, the kitchen, etc. The inmates receive payment for their labor which they can use to order books and magazines, or buy items from the prison store. Any unspent money will be given to the prisoner upon release. All income received by the prison for the sale of goods produced by the inmates is treated as government revenue.

    A Typical Day At Fuchu Prison
    06:50 Rise/Roll-call
    07:10 Breakfast
    07:35 Proceed to workshops
    08:00 Resume work
    09:45 Break time
    10:00 Resume work
    12:00 Lunch
    12:40 Resume work
    14:30 Break time
    14:45 Resume work
    16:40 End of work
    16:45 Return from workshops to cells
    17:15 Dinner/Roll-call
    18:05 Educational and other activities
    19:00 Optional activities
    21:00 Sleep

  • NEWS: Foreign Inmates in Japan get a chance to go home
  • Research on Fuchu: [Maps, transport links, geographical facts]
  • Information: City of Fuchu

    Documentary: Philippe Couture presents 'JAPAN FROM INSIDE'. This is a revealing broadcast video and is the ONLY Independant Film ever shot inside a Japanese prison. For more information contact Philippe Couture at Link
  • Chiba Detention Centre

    Chiba Detenntion Centre is known for its horrific conditions an human rights abuses.
    Chiba Detention Centre - Kaizuka-cho 192, Wakaba-ku
    Chiba-Shi 264-8585 Japan

    Tokyo Detention Centre

    "When you leave Tokyo Detention Centre you are not a human being. If you have a dog in your house you don't treat it like this....They do terrible things - I will never forget what they did to me as long as I live," said an Egyptian man who spoke to Amnesty International after his release. He described how prison guards stripped him naked, kicked him hard in the abdomen and sexually assaulted him with a truncheon, while he was held in solitary confinement.
    Tokyo Detention Centre - 1-35-1 Kosuge, Katsushika-ku. Tokyo. Japan. 124-0001

    Nagoya Prison

    While most prisons in Japan have cut down on punishments using the leather handcuffs, has reportedly increased their use from 53 cases last year to 148 this year. Amnesty International believes that the use of leather handcuffs and body belts in Japan has the same effect as a strait-jacket and must never be imposed as a punishment.

    Nagoya Prison has been highlighted in the media many times for human rights abuses, voilence by prison warders and has been reported as having as many as 160 inmate deaths in the past 190 years.

    Okayama Prison

    Okayama Prison is notorious for their guards, many of who have been charged ni the past with assaulting and injuring an inmates.

    This prison, like many others in Japan are used as a source of cheap labor and large parts of the prison are used for factory production.

    Takamatsu Prison

    Takamatsu Prison has been highlighted for its human rights abuses for many years. One man who was bold enough to speak out about the situation inside was bashed and restrained with leather manacles before being dragged off to a solitary confinement cell. He was left in the viciously tight restraints for about 26 1/2 hours.

    The picture on the right shows scars from the welts caused by manacles are shown in the side of the former prison inmate.

    Yokosuka Prison

    The prison, a four-hour train ride from central Tokyo, is a sprawling complex of aging, low-lying barracks and factories partially surrounded by huge canyon walls. Yokosuka Prison is said to have the largest population of American GI's outside of the US. Like prisoners in the United States, Japanese inmates can be punished for anything from attempting suicide to talking back to guards. But as punishment in Japan, they are separated from others for up to 60 days and made to sit motionless for 12 hours a day. Hirakawa said he believes this punishment, called chobatsu, is an effective tool that brings about remorse and educates prisoners. When pressed on how prisoners react to sitting motionless in a chair for up to two months -- do they scream, beg to be released, cry, meditate? -- Terutada Hirakawa, the warden of Yokosuka prison, answered that he has seen all reactions but stressed that most go into a meditative state.

    Yokosuka Prison - 3-12-3 Nagase Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-0826 Japan
    Fax:81 468 46 1170 - Tel: 81 468 42 4977

    Osaka Prison

    A recent report commission by the House of Representatives Committee on Justice, has stated that large numbers of deaths had occurred in four of Japan's biggest prisons -- Nagoya, Fuchu, Osaka and Yokosuka -- and many of the fatalities had occurred under dubious circumstances.

    The committee gathered records on the roughly 1,600 inmates who have died in Japanese prisons over the past 10 years, at least 46 have perished in Osakaprison alone.

    Tochigi Prison

    Address: Tochigi Prison - 2484 Soja-machi, Tochigi City, Tochigi 328-8550. Japan

    Tochigi is a regular women's prison which is also designated to hold foreigners. Housing over 400 prisoners, it is located in a quiet, rural area north of Tokyo. The prison is organized along the same lines as Fuchu Prison, though the overall regime is less harsh. The procedures described for Fuchu Prison are applicable to Tochigi Prison as well, with a few minor differences:

    The English-language holdings at the prison library are much smaller than at Fuchu Prison. The Embassy, however, is contributing books to increase the English-language holdings.

    Instead of training auto mechanics and carpenters, Tochigi Prison offers training for beauticians, (Japanese) typists and seamstresses. The beauticians provide limited hairdressing facilities for their fellow prisoners, though they specialize in treating Japanese-type hair and have difficulty with curly or thicker hair.

    Advanced inmates at Tochigi also have the option of working an extra two hours per day for their own, personal profit.

    The most advanced inmates are permitted to live by turns in a completely open house outside the prison, like ordinary citizens. Other advanced inmates are able to live in unlocked rooms within the prison compound.

    A Typical Day At Tochigi
    06:30 Rise
    06:50 Roll-call
    07:15 Breakfast
    07:50 Resume work
    09:30 Break time
    09:45 Resume work
    12:00 Lunch
    12:20 Break time
    12:40 Resume work
    14:30 Break time
    14:45 Resume work
    16:20 End of work
    16:30 Dinner time
    17:00 Roll-call/Free time
    20:00 May lie down
    21:00 Sleep

    Japan Government Criminal Justice Resources [Includes Foreign lawyer list, criminal procedures, Japanese law, prisons in Japan, medical care and access to prisons etc...] 
    Japan and Human Rights Content - Click Here

    Logistic Regulations Click Here

    Jailed birds squawk over stuffed cells

    Woodland trial may spotlight flaws in Japanese criminal justice system

    • Abashiri Prison (maximum security}
    • Fukuoka Prison
    • Fukushima Prison
    • Hiroshima Prison - Naka-ku, Hiroshima
    • Ichihara Prison
    • Matsuyama Prison
    • Oita Prison
    • Tukigata Prison
    • Yokohama Prison

    Medical facilities:

    • Kitakyusyu Medical Prison
    Currently researching. If  you have any information please feel free to forward to us.

    Released from a Japanese Prison
    On Wednesday, 21 September 2005, Foreign Prisoner Support Services was contacted by US Citizen, Terrance David Sheard, recently released from a Japanese prison. Terrance has kindly written the following account of his ordeal in the hope that he may highlight the suffering of those he left behind.
    "I want to tell my story because I promised my mates back in the Fuchu hellhole [Japan Prison] that I would try to expose the abuses and cruel treatment experienced daily by all Fuchu inmates. Can you [FPSS] please help me? I owe it to all those who are suffering under the draconian prison system in Japan to tell my story!" Terrance wrote.

    Click Here to read the whole story

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law - Article 7 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
    Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights
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