Japan's attitude to kids with criminal records. (Persona 5)

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personandstuff

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Okay, so I've only seen the quick look so far. So maybe more of this clicks into place later. But it does honestly seem rather weird how a kid who just pushed a rich guy was convicted of a serious crime and everyone is treating him like he's a famous murderer who just moved to town.

Admittedly, a push can technically be considered an assault and no place is especially friendly to people with criminal records. But is this a cultural thing? Is Japan really that down on kids with records?

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Wiseman4545

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#2  Edited By Wiseman4545

To a degree, yes, but that's also very true of America. If you have a criminal record you are inherently treated as scum.

Keep in mind the situation in P5 is more complicated. You didn't just push a guy, you pushed a scumbag with connections who twisted the truth to make you seem worse and threatened the victim to keep their mouth shut. As far as everyone else is concerned you are a true delinquent.

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Worcanna

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Having a criminal record in most places in the world can cause some pretty series issues but it's more the concept "at such a young age". He's still in school, still learning. Being basically put that close to prison time is a serious thing. Everyone pretty much seems to be more angry that he'd fuck it up. School is a HUGE thing in Japan. It is considered the bed-rock of a socially accepted person and as such, you can't screw it up. There are after school lessons and summer schooling in order to make sure you don't screw it up. The adult reaction to his mistake is simply that - A reaction to him messing up his life. It seems pretty much what I would expect from Japan, really.

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LawGamer

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Okay, so I've only seen the quick look so far. So maybe more of this clicks into place later. But it does honestly seem rather weird how a kid who just pushed a rich guy was convicted of a serious crime and everyone is treating him like he's a famous murderer who just moved to town.

Admittedly, a push can technically be considered an assault and no place is especially friendly to people with criminal records. But is this a cultural thing? Is Japan really that down on kids with records?

I suppose if it's justified in the plot as the dude having enough political connections to get the charges trumped up I can roll with it.

Honestly, I'm more wondering about how prosecutor's work in Japan? That lady in the QL seems to just kinda roll over when the cops tell her she can't talk to Larry Bird Jr. very long and then is all "Yo, I can't do anything about the police beating you." As an American lawyer, I have a lot of trouble with that since (a) yes, she can, she's the freaking prosecutor and (b) she would in fact be affirmatively required to do something about it and (c) since prosecutors are the one's deciding whether and what charges to bring, I'm pretty sure most ADA's I know would respond to those cops by telling them to politely (or not very politely given the situation) fuck off.

And technically, him pushing the guy is a battery, not an assault. It can be both at the same time, but since he approached the dude from behind, the guy likely couldn't feel "imminent apprehension of contact" that is required for assault.

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rethla

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#5  Edited By rethla

@lawgamer: As an American lawyer you should know that you have signed an agreement of this being purely fiction.

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Gooddoggy

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Yeah, it seems harsh that Larry Bird Jr. got expelled - surely everything could have been settled by a drift race.

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Shindig

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Kanji said 'get bent' in the last game and has only now finished his community service.

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vizard1301

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He is labeled as a ''bad person'' coz he pushed a rich dude who twisted the law in his favour.

So even though he was doing the right thing,he still got a raw deal and shows how sometimes doing the right thing ain't always the best thing.

Im guessing thats a big theme in the game

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Pepsiman

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I'll try to be vague in order to avoid spoilers since I played the Japanese version, but as has already been pointed out, in this instance specifically, part of this being an ordeal at all is that the protagonist happened to intervene against a guy with some pretty serious clout. It becomes much clearer later on in the game just who he meddled with, but suffice it to say the guy isn't your ordinary drunkard causing a ruckus.

One other thing to note, though, is that Japan has extremely low juvenile crime rates overall. It's been a while since I've studied the subject, but the number of kids actually imprisoned is, I think, no more than several thousand, if that, which, when considering the country has a population of around 120 million people, is pretty crazy to think about. From what I understand, there are also other mechanisms within the Japanese system to deal with juvenile offenders other than just out and out imprison them, so the numbers and how meaningful they are get a little murky, but overall, most any sort of serious youth crime, especially the violent variety, is especially rare in contrast to other developed countries. So even just being associated with an incident is enough to be pretty seriously branded as an outcast by a lot of people, especially within a school system that's designed to promote social harmony and instill within students consideration for how their actions can impact the social groups that they're a part of. Under a certain logic, Larry Bird Jr. here acting out and getting arrested for it reflects poorly on both his old school and his parents, as it shows that they all failed to "keep him in line," as it were. Obviously in a real world situation not involving a drunkard with clout, you'd hope that people would care more about the fact he was trying to save a woman in distress and I think they would, the system isn't that heartless, but the specific politics of this situation make it a little more complicated in ways that the game doesn't completely spell out early on.

Hopefully that all makes sense. I'm by no means an actual expert on Japanese law, but just thought I'd chime in since I did study it while living there years ago.

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AdequatelyPrepared

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@pepsiman said:

From what I understand, there are also other mechanisms within the Japanese system to deal with juvenile offenders other than just out and out imprison them

Does that include sending young offenders to live above a coffee shop with cranky old men with hearts of gold?

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BrunoTheThird

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#11  Edited By BrunoTheThird

I'm surprised Jeff didn't immediately notice that Persona 5 basically opens exactly like Tokyo Drift.

I wonder if it's the translation that makes it seem so oddly handled. I'm going to play in Japanese with subtitles, so I'm curious to see if it comes across better (unless it's just the same subs from the English version). I can believe it just fine with the whole rich-dude bull, and it'll be no big deal if you get in everyone's good books, but I was a little, "Huh..." when I watched the QL, regarding the overblown reactions to the main character.

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Redhotchilimist

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@pepsiman said:

I'll try to be vague in order to avoid spoilers since I played the Japanese version, but as has already been pointed out, in this instance specifically, part of this being an ordeal at all is that the protagonist happened to intervene against a guy with some pretty serious clout. It becomes much clearer later on in the game just who he meddled with, but suffice it to say the guy isn't your ordinary drunkard causing a ruckus.

I can't wait to beat up the Japanese Prime Minister's Shadow.

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probablytuna

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@pepsiman said:

I'll try to be vague in order to avoid spoilers since I played the Japanese version, but as has already been pointed out, in this instance specifically, part of this being an ordeal at all is that the protagonist happened to intervene against a guy with some pretty serious clout. It becomes much clearer later on in the game just who he meddled with, but suffice it to say the guy isn't your ordinary drunkard causing a ruckus.

I can't wait to beat up the Japanese Prime Minister's Shadow.

Na it'll be the Emperor's Shadow. Shinzo Abe will join the Investigation Team The Phantom Thieves at some point.

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soulcake

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#14  Edited By soulcake

#FreeLarryBirdJR

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ThePhantomPear

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Well, no. I happen to know a person who has a criminal record just because he protected a woman from getting assaulted at a night club. He hit a dude and the guy pressed charges. His life is thrown away, he was such a bright student with such a bright future. Even getting a job at a local supermarket requires you to have a clean record. He has to wait years before he can get himself a certificate of good behaviour, so he can finally get a job. It's the same no matter where you go, employers request the file that he had committed violence and label him a deliquent.

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veektarius

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My personal take, having not played the game and having seen only the QL - it's a game glorifying theft and apparently anarchistic behavior. It makes sense for it to be set in a version of society that is more unfair than reality.

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viking_funeral

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#17  Edited By viking_funeral

Doesn't Japan have a conviction rate of 99%?

I think there's a cultural thing there, where if the police decide to focus their attention on you as the guilty party, you are likely going to face extreme pressure to admit guilt or to be found guilty. So being charged with a crime is almost equal to doing the crime there. I also believe that they don't have a jury system.

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poobumbutt

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@rethla: Yo, man, he didn't sign shit, he was just watching a video. That's the loophole.

In all seriousness, I like the idea of a slightly skewed world in which all adults are at least mildly inherently shitty, particularly to kids; and along with that, is a police force and justice system that does pretty much whatever it wants because in this case, they have the politician's backing.

No, it's not how it works, but it sets up what I think is an enjoyable underdog setting. "Get bent, adults" is pretty much how I played P4 the first time anyway - save for Dojima<3 - so P-Team leaning into such a weird and oppressive theme could be cool.

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Shindig

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They could've made it worse by setting it in Britain. Our kids kill.

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planetfunksquad

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@shindig said:

They could've made it worse by setting it in Britain. Our kids kill.

Yeah, my man would have gotten 3 months in youth offenders for shooting some random guy with a rebore if it were set anywhere near me ha. I think the disparity between Japans youth crime and the crime we have elsewhere might be skewing our perspective a little on the opening of this game and making it seem a little weird.

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