Japan's top court reports scandal on trial records disposal


TOKYO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The Supreme Court of Japan on Thursday released a report on a scandal in which a series of high-profile trial records had been discarded and apologized for the loss.

Trial records for most of 90 cases investigated were discarded without consideration for permanent preservation, according to the report, including those of the 1997 serial attacks on children in Japan's western city of Kobe.

In the 1997 serial murder, a 14-year-old boy was arrested and sent to a medical juvenile reformatory for killing two children and injuring three others.

The top court admitted that the scandal resulted from its inadequate handling, and apologized for its insufficient instructions to courts across the country on record preservation.

"We are deeply sorry for the loss of many records that should have been handed down to future generations, and we apologize to the people including those related to the affected cases," Shinya Onodera, director of the top court's general affairs bureau, was quoted by Jiji Press as saying at a press conference.

Thursday's report was drafted by a group of experts who investigated approximately 100 significant social cases involving juveniles and civil trials to determine the reasons behind the disposal of their records.

The probe was initiated last year by the top court in response to the discovery that a number of case records had gone missing in courts throughout Japan.