Chapter 2 Prosecution

The Public Prosecutors Office consists of the Supreme Public Prosecutors Office (headed by the Prosecutor-General), eight High Public Prosecutors Offices (headed by a Superintending Prosecutor), 50 District Public Prosecutors Offices (headed by a Chief Prosecutor) with 203 branches, and 438 Local Public Prosecutors Offices. The different levels of public prosecutors offices correspond to the respective level of the court.

In Japan, basically, public prosecutors hold the exclusive power to institute prosecution (either to try in public or to request for summary procedure). Public prosecutors decide not to prosecute where [1] the precondition for prosecution (e.g. victimís complaint for certain offenses) is not satisfied, [2] the act does not constitute an offense (or the suspect is not punishable due to insanity, etc.), or [3] the evidence is not sufficient to prove the offense. Public prosecutors may also decide not to prosecute a case with sufficient evidence to prove the offense if they deem it unnecessary to prosecute based on factors such as the suspectís character, age, environment, gravity of the offense and circumstances after the offense (suspension of prosecution).