(Paris, Tokyo) FIDH and its member organisation in Japan, Center for Prisoners’ Rights, strongly condemn the execution of two prisoners in Japan that took place last week. On Friday 25 March, Japan’s Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki authorised the execution of Mr. Yasutoshi Kamata and Ms. Junko Yoshida. These are the first executions to take place in Japan in 2016, adding to the 14 other executions since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected in 2012.
Ms. Yoshida, sentenced to death in 2010 for murder, had her request for a retrial rejected last year. It is suspected that the Ministry of Justice expedited her execution in so that she could not file another petition for retrial. Following Ms. Yoshida and Mr. Kamata’s executions, there remain 124 people sentenced to death in Japan.
In 2020, Japan will host the United Nations (UN) Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Considering the growing global trend towards abolition and the multiple decisions by UN human rights bodies confirming that the use of the death penalty entails serious human rights violations, the government of Japan should abolish the death penalty before the 2020 Congress, in order to bring its laws and criminal justice system in line with international human rights standards.
Our organisations strongly condemn Japan’s continued use of the death penalty, and call on the government of Japan to immediately suspend all executions with a view to ultimately abolishing the death penalty.
Source: fidh Website