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I Just Didn't Do It (2006)
"Soredemo boku wa yattenai" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  20 January 2007 (Japan)
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A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.



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Credited cast:
Teppei Kaneko
Asaka Seto ...
Riko Sudo, Lawyer
Kôji Yamamoto ...
Tatsuo Saito
Masako Motai ...
Toyoko kaneko
Masayoshi Arakawa, Lawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hirotarô Honda ...
Hideo Mitsui
Yosuke Ishii ...
Keizo Hirayama
Toshiyuki Kitami ...
Takashi Miyamoto
Fumiyo Kohinata ...
Shogo Muroyama
Tôru Masuoka ...
Seiichiro Tamura
Ken Mitsuishi ...
Mitsuru Sada
Shin'ya Ohwada ...
Toshio Hiroyasu
Toshinori Omi
Hidemi Sekiguchi ...


A young man is falsely accused of molesting a high-school girl on a train. He is arrested and charged, and goes through endless court sessions, all the while insisting that he is innocent.

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Release Date:

20 January 2007 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Even So, I Didn't Do It  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Japan's Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008). See more »

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User Reviews

very scary if you live in Japan
9 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

A young man on his way to a job interview is wrongly accused of groping a high-school girl on the train. He consistently denies the crime. But he is detained by the police and then charged. Most of the film consists of the numerous court sessions, and I found it totally gripping all the way.

The point of the film is that the Japanese justice system is totally unjust. Astonishingly, 99.9% of defendants are found guilty. In Japan there are no juries - judges make the decisions themselves. (This system is going to change in a few years, so that for serious crimes the verdict is decided by judges and small juries together. But who knows whether this will make the system more just. Many Japanese people might feel a strong pressure to conform with authority and find the defendant guilty even if they don't think they actually are.)

In the film we get an excellent look at how evil the system is. For a start, in Japan, the police can hold anyone for ten days without charge, and an extra thirteen days (I think) if the public prosecutor agrees. This is a very long time to be held without charge! The police repeatedly tell Teppei that if he confesses then he'll just be able to walk out of the police station - "it's only groping, it's just like a parking offence." But this is coercion and untrue. If he confesses, he can easily be charged and convicted. So the police are not allowed to say this. And in court, under oath, one police officer perjures himself by denying that he ever said it.

Someone in the film says that one problem with the system is that judges get regarded well and promoted if they deal with their cases quickly and find most defendants guilty. And judges are public employees (civil servants), so they naturally want to side with the police and the public prosecutors against some poor defendant they don't even know. But they're judges! Surely they should have enough moral fibre to put justice ahead of their personal careers.

So for people living in Japan, this is a very scary film. Innocence is no defence. For me the really shocking thing was that the judge and the police were outright evil. (Actually the judge changes half-way through the trial. The first judge seemed like a good man - he told some students, "The highest responsibility of a judge is to not find innocent people guilty.")

What I wanted to know was: what proportion of people found guilty in Japanese courts actually are guilty? Obviously there's no easy way to find this out. But perhaps a foreign lawyer or judge could read the transcripts of about a hundred Japanese criminal court cases, and say whether they think the person should have been convicted assuming that guilt has to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt. I think this would be an interesting exercise, though it is doubtless much more difficult than I imagine.

The other thing I wanted to know was: what should you do if you are arrested in Japan? If you confess, the best thing that can happen is you settle out of court and if it's a groping case pay the victim about 2 million yen (US$20,000). Or they might charge you, and since you confessed, you are certain to be convicted. If you don't confess, you spend loads of money on lawyers, spend a year of your life going through a terrible experience like Teppei in this film, and then eventually get convicted anyway. What a nightmare.

The director says he hopes lots of people around the world will watch this film. However, this can't be because the story has relevance to people in other countries - most countries don't have such crowded trains, so many men who want to grope teenage girls, or such bad justice systems. Perhaps he wants to bring shame on Japan and international condemnation of its justice system.

Anyway, I highly recommend the official English website ( (this page has disappeared; use to find an archived copy)). It is only one page, but very interesting to read.

Incidentally, the film's official website gives the English title as "I just didn't do it". But the Japanese title might be more accurately translated as "I still didn't do it". When reading this out loud, "still" should be emphasized to make the meaning clear (which is maybe why they chose "just" instead). "Soredemo boku wa yattenai" is what you might say after someone talks at you for a long time, telling you how bad you are for doing something and how damning the evidence against you is.

48 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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