Instapundit has an interesting post on the Japanese criminal justice system. Well, it was interesting to me, because I just happened to finish reading James Clavell's Gai-Jin, an incredibly dense and vivd historical novel of the early years of western involvement in Japan (1862, specifically). While a novel, the book highlights the extraordinary cultural and moral differences between westerners (British, French, American, etc.) and the native Japanese. The Japanese justice system, which I bet was grafted onto the country following WWII, is consistent with those differences, and demonstrates the extent to which asians generally, and Japanese particularly, simply think differently than we do. As Gai-Jin illustrates, that's neither good nor bad; it simply is.
By the way, Gai-Jin is a helluva book, but at 1,035 pages, you have to wade through it a bit. Nevertheless, I give it four flicks, and recommend the rest of the Clavell Asia novels.