December 27, 2007 / 4:06 PM / 10 years ago

Prison inmates dislike unstylish pajamas

2 Min Read

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese prisoners dislike their unstylish pajamas, feel their cells are too small and want better meals, a government survey has found.

In a survey of inmates who left prison in the year to March, almost 70 percent of respondents who shared cells with others said they had too little space, while 44 percent of those in solitary confinement said their cells were too small, the justice ministry said in a report issued Wednesday.

Over half said their meals were bad and having supper at 5 p.m. was too early, while almost 75 percent wished for more bread with their meals rather than rice or noodles.

The former inmates also found their vertically striped grayish pajamas to be unfashionable. Close to half said the colors were bad, and 44 percent said the design was ugly.

About 81,300 of Japan's 127 million people were in prison as of December 31 last year, according to government data.

A United Nations committee said earlier this year that Japanese prisons were overcrowded and lacked adequate medical care.

Makoto Teranaka, secretary general of Amnesty International Japan, said the prisons are overcrowded because sentences have grown longer in recent years.

"Because prisons are a closed society, there are great human rights violations going on," he said. "It's necessary to take drastic measures based on human rights to change the conditions in prisons."

Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Mike Miller

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