No Standing on the Back Taxes Issue: Empowering Disenfranchised, Former TV Tokyo P Weighs in on “The Judgment of Jeanne” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

No Standing on the Back Taxes Issue: Empowering Disenfranchised, Former TV Tokyo P Weighs in on “The Judgment of Jeanne”

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The “Public Prosecutor’s Examination Board” Accepted a Petition for Examination Regarding the Alleged “Gang of Five” for Back-Funding

I was astonished when I watched the drama series “The Judgment of Jeanne” starring Hiroshi Tamaki, which started on January 12 on TV Tokyo’s “Drama 8. I was astonished to see the drama series “The Judgement of Jeanne,” starring Hiroshi Tamaki, which started on January 12 on TV Tokyo’s “Drama 8” program.

The subject matter was the “Public Prosecutors Review Board.

The LDP faction’s political fund-raising party issue has resulted in the indictment of all Abe faction leaders. In January of this year, “Good luck prosecutors,” “Prosecutors should do their job,” “Prosecutors should not let the great evil sleep,” and “Prosecutors should be ashamed” were trending daily on social networking sites regarding this issue, and the wording of these messages changed from moment to moment according to the situation.

Furthermore, it was reported on January 31 that a citizens’ group, “Association Against Revision of the Public Prosecutor’s Office Law,” filed a petition for review of the “Gang of Five” consisting of former Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu, former National Diet Committee Chairman Takagi Takeshi, former Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Nishimura Yasutoshi, former Secretary General of the upper house of the Diet Seko Hiroshige, and former policy chief Kōichi Hagiuda, and that the Public Prosecutors Board accepted the petition.

On January 31, it was reported that the “Tokyo 5th Public Prosecutors’ Examination Board” accepted a petition for examination regarding the Abe faction’s powerful “Gang of Five” and other senior lawmakers, which the citizens’ group had filed for examination (PHOTO: Kyodo News).

Never before has the “prosecution” attracted so much attention from the general public.

Jeanne’s Judgment” is a completely original drama with no original story, but I was even more surprised when I saw the credits of this drama.

The “planning cooperation and advisor” is Professor Toshihiko Tabuchi of J. F. Oberlin University’s School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Visual Arts. He has been producing programs at TV Tokyo for 37 years and has produced a number of legal dramas, including “Lawyer Sodom” (TV Tokyo, April 2011), starring Sota Fukushi. Furthermore, he produced “Giant Evil Never Sleeps: Special Prosecutor’s Target” (original story: Hitoshi Mayama’s “Target”) for TV Tokyo in 2005. The lead role of the prosecutor in that film was played by Hiroshi Tamaki, who now plays the role of Gotaro Echizen, a girl manga artist who fights against the prosecutor at the “Public Prosecutors Examination Board” in “Jeanne’s Judgment”.

In other words, the prosecutor who used to struggle to keep the big bad guy from sleeping is now fighting the prosecutor who is trying to put the big bad guy to sleep through the “Public Prosecutors Examination Board”.

The story of the Prosecutors’ Review Board returning the indictment of the Cherry Blossom Viewing Society was reported in the newspapers…

Why on earth such a timely drama, starring the same Hiroshi Tamaki? We asked Professor Toshihiko Tabuchi about the circumstances.

I was with TV Tokyo until March 2011, and the last project I worked on during my tenure there was “The Judgment of Jeanne.

It was at the end of 2009 when I started planning the project. At that stage, we were talking about renewing the Friday night drama series, and the first series was “Sodom the Lawyer” due to a change in the order of broadcast during the production process.

I started thinking about what to do with him, and since he had done a prosecutor in 2005, I decided to do the opposite this time, that is, someone who fights against the power.

He says this is due in large part to the changing times.

At the time of “Giant Evil Never Sleeps,” the easy-to-understand concept of complete punishment was still accepted, but now, with the information society, it is difficult to tell the border between the front and back sides of the story.

When I was looking for a story that reflected this zeitgeist, I read in the newspaper that before the death of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the Public Prosecutors Review Board had sent back one case involving the Cherry Blossom Viewing Party for prosecution.

I am a law school graduate, but I am ashamed to say that I was not familiar with the Public Prosecutors Review Board, even though I was familiar with the term. When I first started planning the project at the end of 2009, even within the company, when I mentioned the idea of a Prosecutors’ Review Board, people didn’t really understand what it was.

I was surprised to learn that the Prosecutor’s Review Board was so powerful that it could bring back a case that had been dropped by the prosecutor.

If the Public Prosecutor’s Office returns the case to the Prosecutor’s Examination Board as being worthy of prosecution, and the Prosecutor once again drops the case, the second time the Prosecutor can forcibly return the case for prosecution,” said Professor Toshihiko Tabuchi (from TV Tokyo’s website).

It’s amazing, isn’t it, because if the Board of Inquiry says it is an indictment twice, the prosecutors win.

Later, the Prosecutor’s Examination Board became the focus of attention after the betting and mahjong case involving former Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office chief Hiromu Kurokawa, the Ikebukuro crash involving an elderly driver, and more recently, the indecent assault of Rina Gonoi by a former member of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

He said, “So I thought that if I drew this picture, perhaps the public prosecutor might become a bad thing. And I thought it would be interesting to have Mr. Tamaki, who used to be a prosecutor, do it, so I got excited with his side.

Another thing that caught Professor Tabuchi’s attention was the fact that ordinary citizens are standing up to the Prosecutor, who is said to be the “guardian of the law,” and has absolute power.

If the Public Prosecutors Office returns a case as worthy of prosecution, and the prosecutors fail to prosecute one more time, they can forcibly prosecute the case a second time.

If the Prosecutor’s Examination Board says the case is indictable twice, the prosecutors win.

However, I think that in the past, there were people like me who paid attention to the Prosecutor’s Review Board system. However, TV stations, including both commercial key stations and NHK, have a hard time making projects that take a stand against the big power of the government because of the massive amount of discovery involved.

In this respect, TV Tokyo is a station that says, ‘It’s okay to do it,’ and I think that in some ways it was possible because of TV Tokyo.

However, even for TV Tokyo, which has a high degree of freedom, it must have been difficult to get the project through. How did they get around the issue?

I think it was significant that Tamaki-san said we could work together, and then we worked together to figure out what kind of things would be interesting now.

A drama is nothing without a leading role, so in that sense, having a specific leading role is a very important factor in getting a big project approved.

In that sense, it is a common practice to have Mr. Tamaki already decided and to think together about what kind of project would be best.

In fact, there are probably many TV people who have wanted to do aggressive projects and depict social issues without any judgment, but have been defeated by pressure. When you think about it, if we can build a relationship of trust with leading actors who agree with our plans, we may be able to bring more challenging works to the world.

Translation of Shojo Manga-ka in the lead role…

By the way, while there are many good serious social drama films, they tend to have a high hurdle for those who choose to watch them, but this film is not too defensive and can be enjoyed by those who are not interested in social issues. The reason for this seems to be due in part to the character of the protagonist.

As I researched the prosecutorial examiner, I found out that he handled a variety of cases, so I wrote a proposal to present to the company and to Mr. Tamaki’s side. From that stage, I had decided that the main character would be a girl manga artist.

I wanted to create a gap between a girl manga artist, a profession with a soft image, who seems a bit distant from social issues and who writes in a fantasy world, and someone who gets involved in a realistic, sordid case.

Another theme of the drama was “what is evil and what is justice” and “what is justice?

Justice is different for different people, and if you are in different positions, it could be completely opposite. In that sense, I thought it would be possible to depict a drama in which the main character is a person who does not think much about justice, but grows as he or she thinks about justice.

At first, I was asked by the production team, “Wouldn’t it be better to have a newspaper reporter or something? (laugh).

In fact, Hiroshi Tamaki is suited to roles in which he gets involved in something.

Tamaki is very good at playing silly roles in TV programs such as NHK’s “LIFE! I was thinking, ‘This guy is definitely good at comedy,’ and then I saw him in ‘Kyokushukyufudo’ and he had a good taste.

So I thought I’d try him in a very pathetic role, and when I suggested it, he said, ‘I’m good at it.

For a prosecutor, the “Prosecutor’s Review Board” means…

By the way, how did you cover the “Prosecutor’s Examination Board,” whose information is not made public?

The lawyer who is doing the legal supervision for this case is a prosecutor who is training at a lawyer’s office. I heard that prosecutors train at lawyers’ offices in order to get to know both sides, the prosecutors’ side and the lawyers’ side.

So you get to know the realities of both the prosecutors and the lawyers.

Moreover, when we started the project, many of the actors’ acquaintances who used to work for the Prosecutor’s Office came up to me and said, “You are going to do a drama about the Prosecutor’s Office, aren’t you?

Compared to the jury system, which deals with serious death sentences and other larger cases, the Prosecutor’s Review Board is, to be honest, a bit plain. So the director also decided to make the room look a bit plain and forgotten.

Incidentally, the Prosecutor’s Examination Board was not well known to the general public, but it is said to have always had a significant presence for prosecutors.

Prosecutors are basically people with absolute power, so prosecuting them is what they do.

But if they prosecute a case that they themselves have dropped, it is a penalty for them. I heard that a prosecutor’s career is determined by how many points he or she does not lose.

That’s why they are afraid of the Prosecutor’s Examination Board, because they are afraid of losing points.

Thoughts on the Drama “The Judgment of Jeanne

Finally, Professor Tabuchi spoke about his thoughts on the drama “The Judgment of Jeanne.

What I want to convey through this drama is that ‘a small opinion can change the world.

Until now, it has been ‘big power changes the world,’ but there are countless examples of the weak and powerless people making big changes, such as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and the #MeToo movement.

The common denominator in all of these is “the evolution of the Internet. Now in Japan, various corporate cover-ups have been revealed and compliance is being questioned.

Some say this is due to a decline in compliance awareness, but I believe this is not the case.

In the past, those in power were proud of their powerful voice and influence. Therefore, I feel that it is correct to say that scandals that have been hidden and kept in the dark are now coming to the surface through the accusations of many “unknown people on the street.

And the drama “The Judgment of Jeanne” symbolizes such a change in the social structure. That is how I see it.”

Toshihiko Tabuchi, Professor of Visual Arts, School of Arts and Sciences, J. F. Oberlin University. Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1964. After graduating from the Faculty of Law at Keio University, he joined TV Tokyo. He has produced documentaries on unexplored regions of the world and has visited more than 100 countries. On the other hand, he has also been actively involved in the production of social documentaries, tackling difficult issues such as the “United Red Army,” “Elderly First Offenders,” and “Stalking Perpetrators. He has also produced numerous drama productions. He retired from TV Tokyo in March 2011. His books include “New TV Theory in an Age of Chaos,” “Victory Learning from the Weak: The Secret of TV TOKYO’s ‘Reverse Thinking’ to Turn Disadvantageous Conditions into Strength,” “Developmental Disabilities and Juvenile Crime,” “Stalking Assailants: Please Run Away from Me,” and “Learning from Unexplored Places: The Shape of Happiness. He is a regular member of the Japan Writer’s Association, a regular member of the Japanese Society of Imaging Arts and Sciences, a regular member of the Japan Society of Arts and Sciences, and a regular member of the Japan Food Service Society. He established 35 Produce Inc. to disseminate a variety of information through video.

Click here for the website of 35 Produce Inc.

Toshihiko Tabuchi’s book “New TV Theory in the Age of Chaos” (Poplar New Book 252) was released in January.
  • Interview and text by Wakako Tago

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes columns on dramas for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKi Kids Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey! Say! JUMP 9 no Tobira ga Open Tokimono" (both published by Earls Publishing).

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