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Osaka Pref. woman not allowed to wear bra to court trial

This undated file photo shows a variety of bras lined up in the entrance to Wacoal Holdings Corp. headquarters in Kyoto. (Mainichi)

OSAKA -- A female defendant was not allowed by police to wear a bra in the courtroom for her trial, prompting the bar association to file an improvement request for a breach of human rights, it has been learned.

    According to the Osaka Bar Association and other sources, the 40-year-old defendant was arrested and indicted in May and has since been held at an Osaka Prefectural Police facility for additional charges. At her first public trial at a branch of the Osaka District Court in July, the woman communicated through her lawyer that she had asked the police to be allowed to wear a bra, but had been denied, coming to court covering herself with a cardigan.

    In the improvement request filed with prefectural police dated Oct. 31, the bar association stated that in not allowing her to wear a bra, the police were "significantly infringing on a woman's sense of shame." Her lawyer also said, "It was summer so it was particularly noticeable because of the thin clothing. I would like them to think about the feelings of a woman who has to appear in front of the gallery in a public trial without a bra."

    Osaka Prefectural Police does not allow for bras in principle, based on National Police Agency regulations, as they could possibility be used for self-harm or other actions. For court appearances and other situations, if a request is submitted ahead of time, the wearing of a bra is allowed. However, the police say that the woman in this case did not make such a request, conflicting with the account of the woman's legal counsel.

    Meanwhile, the Osaka Detention House outlaws only the use of bras with metal underwire to prevent escape or suicide.

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