This article reviews educational psychological studies on special needs education in Japan that were conducted between July 2010 and June 2011. It focuses on the classification of disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and pervasive developmental disorders, which appear to have been the trends of greatest interest to researchers. The second item on that list was difficult to categorize according to the classification of disorders. Then, by reclassifying the studies from an ecological perspective, it revealed that a number of studies are situated at the level of the microsystem, while a few studies are at the level of the mesosystem. Since the perception of the concept of disorders is changing in modern times, the results of this study may provide useful suggestions for the progress of special needs education.
This article provides an overview of research in Japan regarding how psychology has been used to support law, and gives insight into specific developments of psychology and law of the most recent decade. We review research on investigative aspects since the emergence of this mixed discipline in the 1990s. In particular, we examine eyewitness testimony, face identification, and false confessions as well as interviews with children. This background review is a prelude to exploring research on a new legal procedure, Saiban-in Seido (lay judge system). The supporting Act was passed in 2004, establishing an adjustment to the legal system such that decisions are made by a panel of three professional judges and six lay-persons; enactment began in 2009. We review studies on factors that affect lay judges’ deliberation and decision making. Finally, using real-world cases and laws, we analyze related research on values and attitudes.