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  • Criminal history in Japan

    I need some serious advice on this situation. I was recently arrested in Japan and detained for 17 days before released without going to court. I was given no criminal record, however I do have a criminal history that basically just states I was arrested. Does anyone know exactly what the difference is between a "criminal record" and "criminal history" in Japan? Apparently there is some discrepancy but I have no idea exactly what. All I know is that I have no criminal record and that it is a good thing. (The case wasn't taken to court because I paid restitution to the victim as well as a hefty donation through my attorney to the Japanese Bar Association.)

    I'm currently living in Japan on a student visa. My visa is still valid, but my school is no longer willing to sponsor me because of the incident. I would try to find a work visa or some other visa status but I am aware that you have to have a 4-year degree in order to work in Japan. I felt that my only choice, really, was to withdraw from school within the time limit they gave me (which I've done already) and use the last 30 days of my valid visa to either find another sponsor or leave Japan entirely with the hope of one day returning in a work capacity once I get my four-year degree.

    I've decided to leave Japan and continue my studies at home in America, but my main concern is whether or not I will be able to come back to Japan with my criminal HISTORY. I don't have a criminal record in Japan but there is evidence that I was arrested for a crime that did not go as far as court. Apart from that, if I leave the country in the next 30 days, I will be leaving behind several debts and financial obligations--student life in Tokyo hasn't exactly been the easiest for me in the financial sense. Ideally, I want to clear up my debts over the next year and eventually come back on a work visa but I'm not sure if this is even possible due to my criminal history. Has anyone else ever been in this situation??

  • #2
    Originally posted by eye_meets_eye View Post
    I need some serious advice on this situation. I was recently arrested in Japan and detained for 17 days before released without going to court. I was given no criminal record, however I do have a criminal history that basically just states I was arrested. Does anyone know exactly what the difference is between a "criminal record" and "criminal history" in Japan? Apparently there is some discrepancy but I have no idea exactly what. All I know is that I have no criminal record and that it is a good thing. (The case wasn't taken to court because I paid restitution to the victim as well as a hefty donation through my attorney to the Japanese Bar Association.)
    If you are arrested by police it doesnt mean you have a criminal record as you werent found guilty by a judge. If it was settled out of court then basically thats the end of the matter. Usually in Japan you are guilty until proven innocent but maybe the lawyer decided its easier if you pay off the victim (or plaintiff).

    If you appeared before a judge and were convicted of a crime (eg assault) etc then that would mean you have a criminal record and most foreigners with a criminal record end up getting deported after serving time. Schools hate scandal which is why they decided to wash their hands of you. Not because you got a conviction but because it leaves a lingering smell.

    Comment


    • #3
      Correction!!

      I forgot to mention that, yes, although I wasn't taken to court for a personal appearance in front of a judge, I was given a "suspended sentence" from the prosecutor for an undisclosed amount of time. My lawyer said it would probably be six months to a year and that the police would not tell me exactly how long the suspension was for--but apparently I can inquire at any time as to whether or not it's been lifted. I don't plan on coming back to Japan until the suspended sentence is lifted, which will hopefully be within two years. I paid about 80,000yen to the Japan Bar Association and after 17 days was released "fukisou"--which basically means "not prosecuted" from what I can gather. Not really sure how this will help or hurt me later when trying to apply for a work visa. I'm grateful, at the very least, that I wasn't prosecuted.

      I'm not really worried about a potential employer so much as the immigration officers. I plan on enlisting the help of an immigration officer when/if I apply for a work visa to return to Japan, but I'm not sure if my arrest and subsequent suspended sentence will send a red flag to the people at immigration. I'm also not sure whether or not I should fight to stay in this country because I have no idea how hard it is to get a work visa from overseas. I plan on coming back on a tourist visa upon completion of my degree in order to look for work, but I'm not sure how much more difficult it is to get a full work visa without already having a work-permissible visa (eg. a student visa) as opposed to a tourist visa.

      Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
      Last edited by eye_meets_eye; 2011-01-20, 06:14 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by eye_meets_eye View Post
        I forgot to mention that, yes, although I wasn't taken to court for a personal appearance in front of a judge, I was given a "suspended sentence" from the prosecutor for an undisclosed amount of time. My lawyer said it would probably be six months to a year and that the police would not tell me exactly how long the suspension was for--but apparently I can inquire at any time whether or not it's been lifted. I don't plan on coming back to Japan until the suspended sentence is lifted, which is hopefully within two years. I paid about 80,000yen to the Japan Bar Association and after 17 days was released "fukisou"--which basically means "not prosecuted" from what I can gather. Not really sure how this will help or hurt me later when trying to apply for a work visa. I'm grateful, at the very least, that I wasn't prosecuted. I'm not really worried about a potential employer so much as the immigration officers. I plan on enlisting the help of an immigration officer when/if I apply for a work visa to return to Japan, but I'm not sure if my arrest and subsequent suspended sentence will send a red flag to the people at immigration.

        Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
        Sounds like a sentence to me! soooo-yes I think it goes on your record.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by eye_meets_eye View Post
          I've decided to leave Japan and continue my studies at home in America, but my main concern is whether or not I will be able to come back to Japan with my criminal HISTORY.
          When you enter Japan as a tourist, the only question is asked: have you ever been found guilty of a crime by a court of law. You will have to tick "yes" or "no." Nothing more. Your "criminal HISTORY" may rest in peace.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by eye_meets_eye View Post
            (The case wasn't taken to court because I paid restitution to the victim as well as a hefty donation through my attorney to the Japanese Bar Association.)
            Well what happened? You beat some guy up?

            Comment


            • #7
              It was shoplifting--not assault or anything like that. When I say "victim," I mean the store in question. The prosecutor gave me what's called a "suspended sentence" which basically means that I'm currently off the hook for this one, but if I get arrested for some other crime before the suspension is up, the crimes will stack in a sense and I will be prosecuted for both crimes. However, the lawyer and the prosecutor were both insisted that it wasn't reflected as a "criminal record" since I never appeared in court. Believe me, I consider myself lucky and I regret every single moment of what I did. That mistake ultimately cost my life here as a student in Japan and I'm praying that I'll be able to come back once I get a degree and get my life together. I also understand that it kind of "depends" on the immigration officer who happens to review my application.

              Thanks for the info about the question on the tourist visa form--I'm wondering if there are some more specific questions on criminal background on the work visa application. As my current visa is still valid and my landing permission is good until almost 2013, I'm really torn about whether or not to try and switch my visa sponsor to a different school, entirely change my status of residence while I'm still in Japan, or just go home for now and finish up my degree and come back when things look better for me financially. I wouldn't have any qualms about turning in my alien registration card and going home to finish my degree if given some kind of indication that trying to come back on a work visa won't be too difficult despite having a history of arrest in Japan.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by forest
                I had a similar thing interesting that it was about 17 days also. I hated it especially going to the courts. Japan really is a retarded country, in my home country I would have been released after a day for what I did. Anyway because I resigned from my eikaiwa they dropped the charges of trespassing and attempted theft from my own school and I was released. If you really want to teach here- just get a fake degree from Thailand, a monkey could teach in Japan so why not.

                I was told that as the charges were dropped no employer would know about it, only the police, wouldn't that be the same for you? I have often wondered if I hadn't resigned if I would have done the full ten weeks of my suspended sentence for my trivial act the lawyer said resigning was the best thing for me to do. I didn't want to lose my job you see- anyone answer this for me?


                How much you pay the bar lawyer? As I had sent my money home, I got mine for free. You must have had over 500,000 yen in your account I guess.
                Go home then

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by eye_meets_eye View Post
                  I forgot to mention that, yes, although I wasn't taken to court for a personal appearance in front of a judge, I was given a "suspended sentence" from the prosecutor for an undisclosed amount of time. My lawyer said it would probably be six months to a year and that the police would not tell me exactly how long the suspension was for--but apparently I can inquire at any time as to whether or not it's been lifted. I don't plan on coming back to Japan until the suspended sentence is lifted, which will hopefully be within two years. I paid about 80,000yen to the Japan Bar Association and after 17 days was released "fukisou"--which basically means "not prosecuted" from what I can gather. Not really sure how this will help or hurt me later when trying to apply for a work visa. I'm grateful, at the very least, that I wasn't prosecuted.

                  I'm not really worried about a potential employer so much as the immigration officers. I plan on enlisting the help of an immigration officer when/if I apply for a work visa to return to Japan, but I'm not sure if my arrest and subsequent suspended sentence will send a red flag to the people at immigration. I'm also not sure whether or not I should fight to stay in this country because I have no idea how hard it is to get a work visa from overseas. I plan on coming back on a tourist visa upon completion of my degree in order to look for work, but I'm not sure how much more difficult it is to get a full work visa without already having a work-permissible visa (eg. a student visa) as opposed to a tourist visa.

                  Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

                  80,000 yen isn't bad compared to what I would have had to have paid. Are you sure you got a suspended sentence after only serving seventeen days? Why did you shoplift? Anyway look at it like this at least you don't have a criminal record in your own country.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Don Juan View Post
                    Go home then
                    THIS...WTF are you guys doing stealing over here? Even worse, you got caught! Go home...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by forest View Post
                      Why did you shoplift?
                      isn't this a pointless question? whatever the reason- the thrill, thought he wouldn't get caught, he's young and stupid, he's a student and short on cash,,
                      he got caught, he's remorseful and he' s dealing with the fallout
                      Brave of him to admit it on this forum, not like some others 'I was drunk but I smashed his face in self defense" yeah, right mate, have another drink.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by docomomo View Post
                        THIS...WTF are you guys doing stealing over here? Even worse, you got caught! Go home...
                        so if he steals but doesn't get caught, that's better, he can stay?
                        but he got caught, what an embarassment to the other Americans in Japan, so go home?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kagi00 View Post
                          so if he steals but doesn't get caught, that's better, he can stay?
                          but he got caught, what an embarassment to the other Americans in Japan, so go home?
                          one guy is remorseful. I got no prob with him (but will hide my wallet)

                          the other one think japan is retarded... go home I say

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The only retartad is the one who thinks this country is retarded. He should be hombly thankful the prosecutor was feeling good and let him off easy. If I had been the prosecutor I would have asked for the death penalty because he is so slimmy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SteadyRollingMan View Post
                              The only retartad is the one who thinks this country is retarded. He should be hombly thankful the prosecutor was feeling good and let him off easy. If I had been the prosecutor I would have asked for the death penalty because he is so slimmy.

                              Maybe he let me off cos i can spell properly.

                              Comment

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