The Kazuyoshi Miura Case

March 3, 2008

New facts about the case California has against Miura keep coming out so I’m not going to try to pull new information out of the news… I’ll just try to give a little perspective from over here.

The fact is, a lot of Japanese people are pretty angry about this case. There’s a lot of indignation and hurt pride going on. They are complaining that the US is trampling on Japanese autonomy and showing disrespect for the Japanese courts that ruled Miura not-guilty. The interesting thing is that most of these guys I’ve spoken with also happen to believe that he’s guilty.

When my friends make this argument I simply respond by saying that:

  • California is probably trying him on conspiracy charges which is a charge that does not exist in Japan.
  • This means that he’s being tried for a crime he was not tried for in Japan.
  • They should care a little more about justice.
  • If he had never come to US jurisdiction (Saipan) he probably never would have been arrested. It’s not like the US kidnapped him from his home in Japan!
  • He had apparently been warned by his lawyers in Japan not to go to the US, but he didn’t realized that the warrant out for him was also valid in Saipan.
  • Before going to Saipan, he wrote on his “mixi” blog that he was going to Saipan. There have been no entries since (obviously).
  • Japan returned some evidence to the U.S. in 2003 and led to a reevaluation of the case.

Miura’s lawyer is arguing that California trying the case would be double jeopardy, but as I mentioned above, I think they can get around that if the charge is conspiracy because having been tried in Japan, he has obviously not been charged for conspiracy.

I don’t expect the Japanese government to put up much of a fight to protect this guy. I just hope the media in Japan does the right thing by showing this case for what it is. The righting of a mistake.