Since the offence of bribing foreign public officials came into operation, the press has reported several foreign bribery cases in which Japanese companies were allegedly involved. However, for various reasons the Japanese police and public prosecutors have not always been active in investigating the bribery of foreign public officials.
Public prosecutors have exclusive authority to prosecute suspects, as well as broad discretion in relation to prosecution. However, a victim of a crime or a complainant who is dissatisfied with the public prosecutor's decision not to prosecute can request that the matter be reviewed by the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution.
An unprecedented scandal, involving allegations of coercion and tampering with evidence against the special investigation department of a public prosecutor's office, has made problems with Japan's criminal investigation procedure a major public issue. A number of changes - in particular, the video recording of the entire interrogation process - will have a fundamental impact on the investigation of white collar crime.