Japan’s prison population at 70 percent capacity with Fuchu Prison seeing increase in foreign incarcerations

Fuchu Prison where 500 foreign prisoners are currently incarcerated.

Fuchu Prison where 500 foreign prisoners are currently incarcerated.

The other day, I was looking around for statistics on the number of foreign prisoners in the Japanese prison system particularly Americans and came up with a figure of 500 foreign prisoners currently being held in Fuchu Prison located in Fuchu, Japan. Fuchu Prison is where most foreign prisoners who have been sentenced are incarcerated. Fuchu Prion has special facilities for foreign prisoners including an English speaking staff including guards.

Most foreign men convicted in Japan for crimes are held at Fuchu Prison. The number of foreign inmates are 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 and are expected to behave just as their Japanese prisoner fellow inmates. There has never been a prison riot in Japan since WII and almost all prisoners are well behaved and orderly. Many suspect this is where Gregory Gumo will be incarcerated for his 1 year and 6 month incarceration found guilty and convicted of abandoning the body of Mariko Akitaya.

Gregory Gumo will be put through a 15 day orientation of prison rules to teach prison behavior. As a result of the harsh discipline in Japan’s prisons, 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. This should be right up Gregory Gumo’s alley. Fuchu Prison provides continuing guidance in self-discipline and social ethics for everyday life and there are monthly slogans and frequent personal counseling.

The ex-marine Kenneth Franklin who will more than likely be convicted of murdering the 20 year-old Japanese girl Rina Shimabukuro in Okinawa last month is going to probably be serving a life sentence in a Japanese prison if convicted. And as mentioned above, the foreign prison population in Fuchu is increasing.  Here are three Americans just recently being incarcerated or are already incarcerate in Fuchu: Gregory Gumo; Kenneth Franklin (Gadson); Charles Kevin VaughnRichard Hinds (convicted for rape and the murder of Nicola Furlong). Japan’s prisons are currently at about 70 percent capacity so lot’s more room for foreign prisoners.

Here is the schedule for prisoners at Fuchu Prison and it is kept with military-like discipline:

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

An interesting discussion below with Pete Bethune who was arrested in Japan for assaulting a Japanese crew member of a whaling ship with a butyric acid projectile back in 2010. He was incarcerated in Japan and although held in a Japanese prison for a few months, he was deported back to New Zealand.

Pete Bethune: My Time In a Japanese Prison

Don’t Do Crime in Japan!