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 White paper on crime 2003 Part 2/Chap.3/Sec.2/3 

3 Appeals

  The Koso appeal rate against judgments of the ordinary first instance handed down in 2002 was 11.7% against judgments by district courts and 5.4% by summary courts, remaining at the same level as the previous year. In 2002, the number of defendants finally disposed by Koso appeal trials by high courts was 8,347. By type of person who made the Koso appeal, 8,111 were only appealed by the defendant's side, 184 were only by the public prosecutor, 49 were by both sides, and 3 were brought by other dispositions (Source: Annual Report of Judicial Statistics).
   Table 2-3-2-4 shows the dispositions made by high courts in Koso appeal trials in 2002, by type of offense. The percentage of dismissals of Koso appeal was highest accounting for 64.6% of the total, followed by withdrawal with 19.7% and new judgment with 15.4%.
  If examined the reason for reversal of appeals at high courts, in the total number of those in which the appeals were reversed (1,292), 818 were reversed due to the circumstances after the original judgment was rendered, accounting for the largest, followed by inappropriateness of sentencing with 300 and error in fact with 119. Under the new judgments, 21 defendants were found not guilty against the original judgment in the first instance, accounting for 0.3% of the total number of defendants finally disposed by Koso appeal trials (Source: Annual Report of Judicial Statistics).
  Of the 31 defendants for which public prosecutors filed Koso appeals against the not-guilty judgment in the first instance in 2002, 20 were found guilty against original judgment (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Prosecution).
  The Jokoku appeal rate against judgments made by Koso appeal trials in 2002 was 42.2%, higher than the Koso appeal rate against those of the first instance. The Supreme Court newly received Jokoku appeals involving 2,436 defendants, and made final disposition on 2,495 defendants. In the final dispositions, 1,790 (71.7%) were disposed as dismissal of Jokoku appeals, 694 (27.8%) as withdrawal of Jokoku appeals, 9 as dismissal of prosecution, and 1 as new judgment, and 1 was reversed and remanded or transferred (Source: Annual Report of Judicial Statistics).

Table 2-3-2-4 Number of defendants finally disposed by Koso appeal trials, by type of offense (2002)