At this point I believe it is worthwhile in carefully noting the amount of association time and the relative proportion to total weekly time. A seven-day week is composed of 168 hours, so a maximum of 6h15m represents about 3.7% of available time for those who are held in solitary confinement. This includes all foreigners.
Such deprivation of human contact and association has been the focus of many medical research studies, and without exception these all attribute severe mental, emotional and social problems to have been directly caused by such treatment and conditions. Most of the civilised countries have criminalized such treatment, with solitary confinement only being used in the most extreme of situations and generally for only a short, specified period of time. Japan, however, uses such treatment generally, without any valid reasons, and particularly with regards to foreign detainees (awaiting court proceedings), and all foreign inmates at Osaka prison.
As to the pseudo-military environment, this is characterized by the close-step marching accompanied by the chant of “Ichi…ni…ichi…ni”, which translates to “-2-1-2“, “1” being left, and “2” being right-foot.
All orders and instructions are shouted or screamed. Such treatment is both demeaning and humiliating, with research studies concluding that it results in a debating of self-esteem and behavioural problems.
Generally, in the five-day working week, there will be two periods of 15 minutes allowed for showering/bathing/shaving; which are increased in the summer months with one 10-minute shower and two 2-minute quick splashes. During these shower-periods there are numerous, and ever-changing rules that are applied…all delivered by the officer in a contemptuous scream through distorting megaphones!
All movement outside of the accommodation blocks and factories is under the supervision of officers and done in three-file close-step marching. Areas for exercise are demarcated for sitting, walking, running and other sports. For some obscure and unknown reason, running and talking is forbidden. Wherever possible, the group of inmates must form up into three ranks and count off from 1 to the accurate number of bodies that are present. Once the officer decides that exercise-period is complete, then everyone must be patted-down and searched. All conversation must cease immediately.
The steer volume of rules is beyond belief or comprehension, and is altered on an almost daily basis. The result is that any inmate is unsure of the exact, correct rules at any given point in time; this increases the levels of stress and, as a consequence, the levels of resentment against the officers.
The front-line officials are subject to almost the same militaristic treatment as that experienced by the inmates, though much milder in application. This results in the phenomenon of ‘the captain kicks the cabin-boy, the cabin-boy kicks the cat’ type of hierarchical abuse. It has been claimed that such discipline is to maintain a calm atmosphere and that prison staff are expected to act as moral educators and guards.
In reality the officers’ main aim is to catch someone contravening any actual or imaginary rule so that the inmate can be reported for punishment. The general opinion is that an officer intent on promotion will ensure a high daily-rate of inmates indulging in contravention of such rules, so that they can be placed on report. This is conjecture, but seems an accurate conclusion based upon observations.
I already mentioned that any transgression result in harsh reprimands and periods spent in punishment sections, called “shobatsu”.
It can be concluded that violations of basic human rights are not only tolerated by the Japanese authorities and government but are actively encouraged and promoted. The only route that can be of any success is that of information: to the citizens of Japan and the world’s population.