Tokyo, Nov 28 (IANS): Japan's Supreme Court has set new rules on the permanent preservation of trial records as "assets shared by the people," following revelations that the documents of some high-profile trials had been lost at courts across the country.
The top court said that the new rules will be effective as of January next year,reports Xinhua news agency.
The move came after the discarding of high-profile trial records came to light, including all records for the 1997 serial attacks on children in the city of Kobe, in which a 14-year-old boy killed two children and injured three others.
After similar revelations followed, the top court set up a panel of experts, which released a report in May this year on what is behind the problem, as well as how records should be maintained.
According to the new rules, records of historical and social significance should be passed on to future generations as a shared possession of the nation.
The rules state that the heads of district, family and high courts will decide which records to preserve, while members of the public will be allowed to ask a court to preserve the records of a trial permanently.
The court can decide not to do so, but only after it consults with a third-party panel.