Photo/IllutrationThe headquarters of the Osaka prefectural police department in Osaka’s Chuo Ward (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Osaka prefectural police will allow female suspects and defendants to wear bra tops in detention cells after deciding the underwear, comprising a T-shirt and brassiere, cannot be used as a weapon.

The prefectural police department has notified its detention facilities and the Osaka Bar Association’s Criminal Defense Committee about the decision.

Under the plan, detained women will be allowed to wear bra tops and similar non-flexible garments in interrogation rooms and meetings with attorneys.

Prefectural police had allowed female suspects and defendants to put on bras only for appearances in court or elsewhere in public, arguing that bras containing wires could be used to injure themselves. Wearing bras in detention facilities was prohibited.

In December 2017, the Osaka Bar Association demanded the prefectural police review the policy after a defendant in her 40s was not allowed to don a bra when appearing in court.

“Forcing women to be interrogated without bras could give them a sense of shame, making it difficult to execute their right of defense,” an association official said when it called for the change in October.

The Osaka Detention House, which is overseen by the Justice Ministry, already allows women to wear sports bras in detainment and when they appear in court.