White paper on crime 2012 Part2/Chapter1/1
All cases cleared by the police, etc. are referred to public prosecutors, except cases subject to disposition as trivial offenses (refers to the disposition of certain cases of minor theft, minor fraud, and minor embezzlement, etc. committed by adults involving highly mitigating factors, which fall under criteria predetermined by public prosecutors as not requiring judicial police officers to refer them to public prosecutors, as in accordance with the proviso of Article 246 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) and for Road Traffic Act violations for which pecuniary penalty is paid within the specified period of time. The number of persons disposed by the police as trivial offenses in 2011 was 99,615 (the number of persons disposed by the police as trivial offenses for non-traffic penal code offenses was 99,599, accounting for 32.6% of the total number of persons cleared) (Source: Criminal Statistics by National Police Agency).
In addition to investigating cases referred by police officers (general judicial police officers) and special judicial police officers, including coast guard officers and narcotics agents, etc., public prosecutors can also initiate an investigation of cases that they have come to know of, and of cases that they have received a complaint/accusation and decide whether to prosecute the suspects or not, after investigation, considering whether or not they are punishable and need to be punished.