JAPAN – UPR Joint Submission by ADPAN and 14 CSOs,

JAPAN: The Death Penalty

 For the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of Japan [6-17 November 2017]

Submitted by ADPAN (Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network) and

14 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) listed below

 

Since the last UPR of Japan in 2012, 26 persons have been executed from 2012 to 2017, whereby 2 have been executed in 2017. A total of 36 death sentence have been finalized from 2012 to 2016. As of the end of 2016, there are 128 persons on death row.

Death penalty continues to exist in statute books  for crimes that do not result in the death of any  victim.

Whilst, we continue to call for the abolition of the death penalty in Japan, and for a moratorium on all executions pending abolition, we would like to highlight specific concerns concerning the death penalty and unfair trials, which we hope would form part of UN member states recommendations at the upcoming UPR.

In brief,  besides calling for the abolition of the death penalty, and an immediate moratorium on all executions, we are hoping that the following specific recommendations be made to made to Japan:-

 

– That Japan makes it a requirement that no one shall be sentenced to death unless the decision of the court, including ‘lay judge system’ courts, is unanimous.

 

 – That no one is executed until and unless cases are reviewed and considered by all existing appellate courts and clemency processes in Japan. We recommend a Mandatory Appeal System and Clemency Processes for all capital penalty cases.

 

  1. REFORM OF THE ‘LAY JUDGE SYSTEM’ COURTS – UNANIMOUS DECISION FOR DEATH PENALTY
  2. In 2009, a new trial system was introduced, known as the ‘lay judge system’, whereby serious cases like murder that carry the death penalty are conducted before 6 ordinary citizens and 3 career judges. All that is required for the death penalty to be imposed is a simple majority, which includes 1 vote from one of the 3 career judges.
  3. As of March 2015, prosecutors have sought the death penalty for 31 persons, and the ‘lay judge system’ courts have handed down the death penalty for 23 cases, which is about 74%. In comparison, when such cases were tried and finalized between 1980 and 2009 before career judges, only about 55% received the death sentences in cases where the prosecution sought the death penalty.
  4. There is an unnecessary and even dangerous risk of injustice for a person to be sentenced to death in a situation when the decision of the court is only based on a simple majority decision of a ‘lay judge system court’. This is because legally trained and experienced judges are typically more likely to apply reason and law dispassionately to the facts. In serious cases of dreadful crimes, international experience over time and cultures shows that legal training and experience are essential qualities in the application of fair legal reasoning. After all, that is why all countries have legally trained people administering justice. Under the lay judge system at this time, the experienced legally trained judges can be outvoted by the lay jury.
  5. Justice demands that a decision to impose the death sentence should be unanimous. In the United States of America, a conviction and a death sentence requires a unanimous jury verdict in the Federal Government and all states save 2. Two states, Louisiana and Oregon, permit convictions on less-than-unanimous jury verdicts. In both states a defendant can be convicted by an 11-to-1 or 10-to-2 vote. This is a similar position that exists in many other jurisdictions, which still have the jury system when it comes to criminal cases.
  6. Overwhelmingly, although it is expressed in different language in different systems, courts need to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt before a finding of guilt in serious criminal matters. This is a much higher standard than ‘on balance’ or ‘by majority’. Similar reasoning should apply to the question of whether to execute – the tribunal should be satisfied by a significant margin. We say that a unanimous verdict should be required before a person is to be put to death.
  7. As such, in the Japanese ‘lay judge system’ courts, a simple majority decision of a panel of 9 persons (6 lay persons and 3 judges) has the potential to be unjust. The fact that 4 other persons, which may also include 2 of the 3 experienced career judges  decided not to convict and/or impose the death penalty is very relevant and should not be ignored.

RECOMMENDATION :That Japan makes it a requirement that no one shall be sentenced to death unless the decision of the court, including ‘lay judge system’ courts, is unanimous.

 

  1. MANDATORY APPEALSAND CONSIDERATION FOR CLEMENCY BEFORE EXECUTION
  2. On 13/7/2017, Koichi Sumida and another were executed at the Hiroshima Detention Center and Osaka Detention Center respectively.
  3. Sumida was sentenced to death in lay judge trial held in February 2013, and there were no appeals, which means that no higher courts and/or bodies had the opportunity of reviewing the decisions of the first court.
  4. This is the third execution of an inmate whose death sentence that was imposed by the ‘lay judges system’ courts did not go on appeal to the High Court, or the further appeal to the Supreme Court.
  5. The reasons why this persons who were sentenced to death did not choose to exercise their right to appeal is a mystery.It is not clear why they did not file appeals, or why they later chose to withdraw their appeal as was by Sumida.
  6. Some, amongst death row inmates call this “volunteer”. Some just wish to be executed, having given up the will to live. It is akin to a desire to commit suicide.
  7. It is a fact that courts can make mistakes, and it is not uncommon in most jurisdictions that appeal courts do overturn convictions and/or sentences.
  8. As an example, it must be pointed out that the Tokyo High Court, did overturn lay judges court’s decisions to impose the death penalty in three cases, which were subsequently upheld by the Supreme Court in 2015. The absence of an appeal, would have not allowed the High Court and/or higher courts correct errors made and save lives.
  9. In many jurisdictions, in capital cases, a plea of guilty will not be accepted. The trial will have to proceed to enable the courts to make its own determination based on the evidence adduced, that the said accused person is proven to be guilty in accordance to the required standard of proof in a criminal case, and thereafter whether evidence adduced and the circumstances of the case justify the imposition of the death penalty.
  10. The rationale behind this practice in capital cases, is the desire of the State to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice, and no innocent person or convicted person not deserving to be sentenced to death, is wrongly sentenced to death.
  11. Applying the same rationale, there is a need to put in place a mandatory appeal system, that will require all cases of persons sentenced to death, to have their cases mandatorily brought before the Appeal courts in Japan, to enable the Appellate courts to review not just the death penalty, but also the conviction that resulted in the death sentence.
  12. In the case of Japan, this would mean that there shall be an appeal to the High Court, and thereafter a further appeal to the Supreme Court for all cases where the convicted has been sentence, irrespective of whether the convicted chooses not to appealthe conviction, and/or the death sentence.
  13. In the same way, after all appeals are done, all cases that carry the death sentence, shall go through the existing clemency process in Japan, noting that a such process could also decide to commute the death sentence to a prison sentence, or even result in a full pardon in exceptional cases.
  14. In such capital cases, if the accused and/or convicted, do not have a lawyer, then the court shall appoint a lawyer to act on behalf of the said accused.

RECOMMENDATION:- That no one is executed until and unless cases are reviewed and considered by all existing appellate courts and clemency processes in Japan. There should be a Mandatory Appeal System and Clemency Processes for all capital penalty cases.

We refer also to the earlier submission made by the Advocates for Human Rights, the Center for Prisoners’ Rights and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and state our support for the recommendations made therein.

 

Dated: 13 September 2017

Submitted by:-

Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network(ADPAN)

Center for Prisoners’ Rights Japan

Forum 90, Japan

Ichiyou-kai, Japan

Inter-religious Network “Stop the Death Penalty!”, Japan

Japan Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, Sub-Committee for Abolition of the Death Penalty

Jesuit Social Center Tokyo

MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)

Legal Awareness Watch (LAW), Pakistan

ODHIKAR, Bangladesh

Christian Development Alternative (CDA), Bangladesh

Norden Directions, Australia

Democratic Commission for Human Development, Pakistan

Think Centre, Singapore

Civil Rights Committee of  Kuala Lumpur And Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Malaysia

 

 

See related posts:-

JAPAN – Recommendations and Japan’s Responses in previous UPRs on the issue of Death Penalty

JAPAN: The Death Penalty – UPR Submission by Advocates for Human Rights, Center for Prisoners’ Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

 

JAPAN – Recommendations and Japan’s Responses in previous UPRs on the issue of Death Penalty

Japan’s Universal Periodic Review(UPR) session will be 6-17 November 2017, and ADPAN together with other Civil Society Organisations(CSOs) will be making a submission for the consideration of UN Member States, who we hope will take up our recommendations and raise it during the UPR. Below are a listing of recommendations made in previous UPRs, and the responses from Japan.

The ADPAN and CSOs joint submission can be seen in the next post

 

Recommendation RS Response A Issue C
Ratify the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP 2), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty Rwanda
Africa
AU, OIF, Commonwealth
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
Ratify the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR-OP 2), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty Switzerland
WEOG
OIF
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
Consider the possibility of abolishing the death penalty and acceding to the ICCPR-OP 2, while approving a moratorium in the meantime Uruguay
GRULAC
OAS, OEI
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
Accede to the ICCPR-OP 2 and also the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OP-CAT) Australia
WEOG
PIF, Commonwealth
Accepted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  Detention

·  International instruments

·  Torture and other CID treatment

2
Encourage a deep nationwide dialogue on the death penalty, open to all stakeholders and views Italy
WEOG
EU
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 2
Abolish the death penalty or establish a moratorium on its use Namibia
Africa
AU, Commonwealth
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Consider seriously an immediate moratorium on executions as a first step to the abolition of the death penalty and add the possibility of a life sentence without parole to the range of penalties for vicious crimes Netherlands
WEOG
EU
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Take immediate measures to abolish the death penalty for persons that were under-age at the time of the crime, as well as for those convicted individuals having significantly impaired mental ability or mental illness Norway
WEOG
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 2
Evaluate the possibility of abrogating the death penalty from its legal regime Argentina
GRULAC
OAS, OEI
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, as a first step towards the complete abolition of this practice Australia
WEOG
PIF, Commonwealth
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Consider undertaking a national debate with a view to assessing the possibility of establishing a moratorium on the application of the death penalty Mexico
GRULAC
OAS, OEI, ACS
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty Italy
WEOG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Seriously consider an immediate moratorium on executions to allow a comprehensive public debate on this issue to take place Ireland
WEOG
EU
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish a moratorium on executions and initiate a broad public debate on the question of the death penalty with a view to its final abolition Germany
WEOG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish an official moratorium with a view to the final abolition of the death penalty and facilitate a national dialogue on the abolition France
WEOG
EU, OIF
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to proceeding towards the abolition of the death penalty Finland
WEOG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Introduce a formal moratorium on executions and take concrete steps toward the abolition of the death penalty Norway
WEOG
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its abolition and sign and ratify the ICCPR-OP 2 Portugal
WEOG
EU, OEI
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
Introduce an immediate formal moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition, while commuting the existing sentences to life imprisonment terms Slovakia
EEG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Apply a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolishing capital punishment Slovenia
EEG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Apply a new moratorium against the death penalty with a view to its definitive abolition Spain
WEOG
EU, OEI
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Establish without any delay an official moratorium on executions Switzerland
WEOG
OIF
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Reconsider introducing a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty Turkey
WEOG
OIC
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Announce an immediate moratorium and initiate a policy review with the intention of abolishing the death penalty by December 2013 and then ratify the ICCPR-OP 2 by December 2014 United Kingdom
WEOG
EU, Commonwealth
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
Adopt a moratorium on executions to allow a comprehensive public debate on the issue and to consider establishing an official death penalty review body to make public recommendations for its reform Austria
WEOG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty

·  International instruments

2
If no legal moratorium is given, provide all necessary guarantees to ensure that the rights of persons condemned to death are respected Belgium
WEOG
EU, OIF
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 2
Ensure that the rights of detainees sentenced to death be duly respected Italy
WEOG
EU
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 2
Ensure that conditions of detention of death row inmates comply with international standards Hungary
EEG
EU
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty

·  Detention

2
Consider the introduction of a systematic appeal system with suspensive effect following a death penalty conviction in first instance Belgium
WEOG
EU, OIF
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 2
Introduce a mandatory appeal system in capital cases and to ensure that inmates themselves, their families and their legal representatives are provided with adequate information about a pending execution and to allow a last family visit or communication with the convicted person Austria
WEOG
EU
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 2
Not carry out the death penalty and re-apply a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty in accordance with the resolution adopted in this regard by the General Assembly. Luxembourg
WEOG
EU, OIF
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 1
Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Portugal
WEOG
EU, OEI
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 1
Join the large number of States that have adopted a moratorium on executions or abolished the death penalty. Switzerland
WEOG
OIF
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 1
Support the previous interventions about the abolition of the capital punishment in Japan. Turkey
WEOG
OIC
Noted 5 ·  Death penalty 1
Respect international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, to progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed, and establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty. Italy
WEOG
EU
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 1
Examine as a priority the introduction of a formal moratorium on the death penalty. Albania
EEG
OIC, OIF
Noted 4 ·  Death penalty 1
Reconsider the establishment of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Mexico
GRULAC
OAS, OEI, ACS
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 1
Consider the abolition of the death penalty. Netherlands
WEOG
EU
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 1
Review urgently the use of death penalty with a view to a moratorium and abolition. United Kingdom
WEOG
EU, Commonwealth
Noted 3 ·  Death penalty 1

 

JAPAN: The Death Penalty – UPR Submission by Advocates for Human Rights, Center for Prisoners’ Rights and World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

JAPAN: The Death Penalty

Joint Stakeholder Report for the United Nations Universal Periodic Review

 

Submitted by The Advocates for Human Rights

a non-governmental organization in special consultative status with ECOSOC since 1996

The Center for Prisoners’ Rights

and

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

 

for the 28th Session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review

6-17 November 2017

 

The Advocates for Human Rights (The Advocates) is a volunteer-based nongovernmental organization committed to the impartial promotion and protection of international human rights standards and the rule of law. Established in 1983, The Advocates conducts a range of programs to promote human rights in the United States and around the world, including monitoring and fact finding, direct legal representation, education and training, and publications. In 1991, The Advocates adopted a formal commitment to oppose the death penalty worldwide and organized a Death Penalty Project to provide pro bono assistance on post-conviction appeals, as well as education and advocacy to end capital punishment. The Advocates currently holds a seat on the Steering Committee of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

 

The Center for Prisoners’ Rights (CPR) was established in March 1995 as the first Japanese NGO specializing in prison reform. CPR’s goal is to reform Japanese prison conditions in accordance with international human rights standards and to abolish the death penalty. CPR is a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, a correspondent member of the International Federation of Human Rights and the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network.

 

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of more than 150 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its ultimate objective is to obtain the universal abolition of the death penalty. To achieveits goal, the World Coalition advocates for a definitive end to death sentences and executions inthose countries where the death penalty is in force. In some countries, it is seeking to obtain areduction in the use of capital punishment as a first step towards abolition.

 

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Since Japan’s 2012 Universal Periodic Review, the number of persons sentenced to death and executed in Japan has continued to accelerate.Further, because Japan generally refuses to implement any recommendations related to the death penalty, these troubling increases occur in the context of a criminal justice system that does not afford treatment to death row inmates that complies with international norms.
  3. Japan’s Penal Code does not limit the death penalty to the most serious crimes. It allows individuals to be sentenced to death for non-lethal crimes and in cases where the defendant did not intend to kill.
  4. Several defects in Japan’s legal system allow for the possibility of wrongful convictions and thereby wrongful executions.Japan’s pretrial detention and interrogation system may result in false confessions.Japan’s lay judge system requires only a majority of a nine-judge panel, and not a unanimous decision, to determine guilt and impose a death sentence, as long as at least one of the three professional judges agrees.Finally, Japan does not have a mandatory appeal system for death sentences.
  5. Japan’s treatment of prisoners sentenced to death likewise violates international norms.Japan maintains death row inmates in prolonged, indefinite solitary confinement, restricting access to outside information and human contact; despite longstanding international norms, including the recently revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, the Government of Japan insists that such treatment is not torture.Similarly, despite a recent supreme court decision, prison wardens in Japan routinely restrict access to private meetings between prisoners and their lawyers to discuss legal proceedings to challenge their death sentences.
  6. This report offers several suggested recommendations. First, Japan should abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence that is fair, proportionate, and respects international human rights standards. Second, in light of the practices described above, Japan should immediately institute a moratorium on the death penalty so that Japan can enact measures, including a mandatory appeal system and reforms to its penal detention laws, to bring its treatment of death row inmates within established international norms. Third, Japan should limit the death penalty to crimes that result in death and in which the defendant intended to kill. Fourth, Japan should require unanimous verdicts in favor of death sentences and should introduce a mandatory appeal system in capital cases. Fifth, Japan should amend its law on detention facilities and treatment of inmates to comply with the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
  7. LEGAL FRAMEWORK
  8. Legal Basis for the death penalty in Japan
  9. Article 9 of the Penal Code authorizes the death penalty.[1] Sentences are carried out by hanging.[2] Japan’s law provides that execution should take place within 6 months of a death sentence becoming final; in practice, however, the sentence cannot be carried out until the Minister of Justice so orders.[3]
  10. Crimes that can result in the death penalty: A total of 19 crimes may result in a death sentence in Japan.[4] Several offences may result in the death penalty even though no death results, including:
    • leading an insurrection;[5]
    • conspiring with a foreign government to exercise force against Japan;[6]
    • serving in the military of a foreign government exercising force against Japan;[7]
    • arson of a building, train, tram, vessel or mine used as a dwelling or in which a person is actually present;[8]
    • destruction with explosives of a building, train, tram, vessel or mine used as a dwelling or in which a person is actually present;[9] and
    • flooding of a building, train, tram, vessel or mine used as a dwelling or in which a person is actually present.[10]
  11. The death penalty is mandatory for conspiring with a foreign government to exercise force against Japan. The death penalty is not mandatory for other crimes.[12] The Penal Code also provides for mandatory mitigation for acts of diminished capacity (acts of insanity are not punishable),[13] as well as discretionary mitigation in extenuating circumstances.[14] Culpability does require the intent to commit a crime.[15] The law prohibits carrying out the death penalty against pregnant women and persons in a state of insanity;[16] however, Japan lacks standards for independently determining insanity.[17] Japan’s law prohibits death sentences for acts committed by offenders under the age of 18 at the commission of the crime.[18]
  12. Japan currently uses a three-tiered court system with a court of first instance (district or summary court) comprised of three professional judges and six Saiban-ins (lay judges) as the first tier trial court for cases where the death penalty may be imposed.[19] The second tier is the High Court, which is the court of second instance, and the Supreme Court is the final court and third tier.[20] After the court of first instance convicts and sentences a defendant, both the prosecution and the defendant can choose to appeal, meaning that the appellate court may overturn a lesser sentence and impose the death penalty.[21] The defendant can withdrawhis or her right to appeal and allow the sentence to be finalized.[22]An inmate in Japan cannot directly request a pardon; instead, the inmate’s prison warden must petition Japan’s National Offenders Rehabilitation Commission on the inmate’s behalf.[23]
  13. Japan’s Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees ostensibly requires that the treatment of death row inmates should maintain their “peace of mind.”[24] In practice, these “peace of mind” requirements result in several practices that violate of international detention norms, including prolonged solitary confinement (the extent of which is left to the discretion of the prison warden),[25] restrictions on access to information (the extent of which is also left to the discretion of the prison warden),[26] monitoring of visits and communications when deemed necessary by the authorities,[27] and limited or no notice of their upcoming execution.[28]
  14. Death penalty practice in Japan
  15. Since Shinzo Abe’s return as Prime Minister of Japan in December 2012, Japan has executed 17 people.[29] Japanese courts sentenced 18 people to death in Japan during the same period.[30] Most recently, Kenichi Tajiri was executed on 10 November 2016 for the murder of two persons during separate robberies.[31] As of the end of 2016, 128 people were imprisoned on death row in Japan, and one person released pending retrial.[32]
  16. On 7 October 2016, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued a declaration calling for abolition of the death penalty by 2020.[33] The Federation based its resolution on the international trend toward abolition and defects in Japan’s criminal justice system that make “wrongful executions . . . unavoidable.”[34] The Federation also highlighted the case of Iwao Hakamada, who was sentenced to death and spent 48 years on death row before being released pending retrial.[35] However, in media statements, Japan’s current Justice Minister, Katsutoshi Kaneda, has continued to support the death penalty, alleging widespread support among the people of Japan.[36]
  17. Japan acceded to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (“ICCPR”) (but not the ICCPR Second Optional Protocol)[37] and did not oppose UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)Resolution 1984/50 on safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights ofthose facing the death penalty when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984.[38]On 18 December 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty; Japan did not support the resolution.[39] On 17 December 2015, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the revised UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the “Minimum Rules”).[40]As more fully discussed below, Japan’s death penalty laws conflict with several of the Minimum Rules, particularly with respect to solitary confinement of death row inmates. On 19 December 2016, the UN General Assembly again adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty,and again Japan voted againstit.[41]
  18. 2012 Universal Periodic Review of Japan and responses to recommendations
  19. Abolition or moratorium on the death penalty. Numerous recommendations asked that Japan abolish or place a moratorium on the death penalty or that Japan ratify the Second Optional Protocol and/or broadly ratify all international human rights treaties and conventions.[42] Japan did not accept recommendations to abolish or place a moratorium on the death penalty, nor would it agree to ratify the Second Optional Protocol.[43]
  20. National dialogue to consider abolishing the death penalty. Several recommendations also suggested that Japan allow for national dialogue on abolishing the death penalty.[44] Japan did not accept these recommendations due to the government’s perception of widespread popular support for the death penalty.[45]
  21. Implement international standards for death penalty detainees. Three recommendations asked Japan either to implement international standards or otherwise improve conditions for death row inmates,[46] and one recommendation specifically addressed notifying detainees in advance of their executions.[47] Finally, two additional recommendations sought improvements in general prison conditions.[48] Japan noted these recommendations and responded that it already complies with its human rights obligations in all treaties to which it is a party and its internal laws; further, Japan’s position is that prolonged solitary confinement is not a human rights violation.[49] Japan did not accept the recommendation to allow advance notice of executions.[50]
  22. Introduce mandatory appeal system. Two recommendations asked Japan to implement a mandatory appeal system.[51] Japan noted the recommendations and responded that, in essence, its appeal system is sufficient.[52]
  23. Abolish the death penalty for minors and mentally ill or impaired. Norway recommended that Japan abolish the death penalty for minors at the time of the crime and persons who are mentally ill or impaired.[53] Japan noted the recommendations and responded that its legal system already provides these protections;[54] however, because Japan lacks standards for independently determining insanity, the legal system does not necessarily protect prisoners who develop mental illness or impairment during their imprisonment.
  24. Preserve the confidentiality of communications with legal counsel. Finally,.one recommendation asked that Japan improve access to legal counsel for all detainees.[55]In response, Japan noted the recommendations and stated that “the right to confidential communication is guaranteed.”[56] However, while the recommendation appeared to apply to all detainees (both pre-trial and post-conviction), Japan’s comment related only to pretrial detainees and did not address communications between post-conviction prisoners and their legal counsel.

III. IMPLEMENTATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OBLIGATIONS

  1. The Penal Code does not limit the death penalty to the most serious crimes.
  2. UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)Resolution 1984/50 on safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights ofthose facing the death penalty provides that “capital punishment may be imposed only for the most serious crimes, it being understood that their scope should not go beyond intentional crimes with lethal or other extremely grave consequences.”[57]As discussed in paragraph 7 above, the Penal Code authorizes imposition of the death penalty for crimes that do not result in death and in cases when the defendant did not intend to kill.
  3. The pretrial detention and interrogation system may result in false confessions.
  4. The ICCPR guarantees the following rights to persons accused of crimes: (1) the right “[to] be informed promptly and in detail in a language which he understands of the nature and cause of the charge against him”[58]; (2) the right “to communicate with counsel of his own choosing”[59]; and (3) the right “[not] to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt.”[60] Similarly, ECOSOCResolution 1984/50 states that persons accused of capital crimes must have “the right . . . to adequate legal assistance at all stages of the proceedings.”[61]
  5. Several observers have noted that Japan’s pretrial detention and interrogation system generates unnecessary pressure on accused persons to confess, with the result that false confessions occur in capital cases.[62] The Code of Criminal Procedure allows for a 72-hour detention period during which the police or the prosecutor may interrogate a suspect;[63] during this time, while the police must inform the suspect of his right to defense counsel, the suspect does not have the right to court-appointed defense counsel until a hearing on the suspect’s further detention.[64] After the hearing, a judge may extend detention for up to 20 additional days[65] (longer where the alleged crime relates to insurrection or foreign assistance, which are capital crimes – see paragraph 7 above[66]). Furthermore, under Japan’s substitute detention system, the government may detain defendants at police stations during this investigatory period instead of in penal institutions.[67] In practice, nearly all defendants are remanded to this substitute detention system.[68] Because defendants may be interrogated at any time, often without counsel present, the substitute detention system has resulted in false confessions.[69]
  6. The lack of a unanimous verdict requirement and a mandatory appeal process prevents meaningful review of death penalty sentences.
  7. ECOSOCResolution 1984/50 provides that death sentences should be imposed only “based upon clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts.”[70] Resolution 1984/50 further provides, “Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction, and steps shouldbe taken to ensure that such appeals shall become mandatory.”[71] Likewise, the ICCPR provides, “Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.”[72] The ICCPR further guarantees the right of all persons sentenced to death “the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence.”[73]
  8. The Human Rights Committee has expressed its concern in 2008 that an increasing number of defendants in Japan are convicted and sentenced to death without exercising their right of appeal,[74] and reiterated that concern in 2014.[75] Lack of mandatory review by higher courts increases the risk of execution of the innocent, and data from 1993 to 2014 show that many prisoners continue to be executed despite not having exhausted their right to appeal.[76]
  9. Moreover, non-unanimous verdicts in lay judge trials allow a person to be sentenced to death when there is an alternative explanation for the facts. In May 2009, the Act on Criminal Trials with Participation of Saiban-inwent into effect, along with the new system of the lay judge trials. Under the lay judge system, in order to determine the punishment (including a sentence of death), only a simple majority vote (including at least one professional judge) is required, as opposed to consensus sentences required by other jury-style systems.[77] Also, there are no specific sentencing guidelines to be followed by either professional judges or lay judges, only the broad guidance from Japan’s Supreme Court,[78] allowing for considerable variations in sentencing.
  10. The need for reform of both the lay judge system and the appeal process in Japan is paramount. The lack of a unanimous verdict means that there is a plausible “alternative explanation of the facts” that should preclude imposition of the death penalty. Further, because of the possible defects in the Lay Judge System and in Japan’s interrogation system, as well as in the conditions for death row inmates discussed below a mandatory appeal system is necessary to ensure that the justice system gives inmates adequate opportunity to demonstrate innocence or mitigation factors to reduce their sentences.
  11. Prison conditions for inmates sentenced to death violate international norms and constitute cruel and unusual treatment.
  12. The “peace of mind” objective enshrined in Japan’s legal code actually results in violations of the human rights of inmates sentenced to death. In particular, the laws and practices governing Japan’s prison system result in indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement of death row inmates and in some cases bar confidential communications between inmates and their legal counsel.
  13. Japan continues to place death row inmates in prolonged solitary confinement. As noted above, several 2012 UPR recommendations challenged Japan to improve conditions for death row inmates;[79] Japan responded that it did not believe that indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement of inmates violates their human rights.[80] In December 2015, however, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Minimum Rules in Resolution 70/175.[81] Rules 43 through 45 specifically address solitary confinement, and Rule 43 specifically states that indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement “shall be prohibited.”[82] Rule 44 defines solitary confinement as “the confinement of prisoners for 22 hours or more a day without meaningful human contact.”[83] Under Rule 44, solitary confinement is prolonged when it exceeds 15 consecutive days.[84] Finally, Rule 45 provides that solitary confinement “shall not be imposed by virtue of a prisoner’s sentence.”[85]
  14. Japan’s laws do not comply with each of these Rules with respect to inmates sentenced to death. Solitary confinement is imposed in Japan automatically after imposition of a sentence of death.[86] The treatment of death row inmates in Japan fits Rule 44’s definition of solitary confinement because by default, such inmates are not allowed contact with other inmates. Solitary confinement for death row inmates in Japan is prolonged in violation of Rules 43 and 44 because it lasts for the entirety of the time the inmate is imprisoned and because the extent of outside contact is left to the discretion of the prison warden.[87] Moreover, solitary confinement is indefinite because Japan’s Minister of Justice decides when executions take place,[88] and the inmate is not made aware of his/her execution date until the date of execution.[89] Further, Japanese law limits visits to death row inmates from relatives or other outside persons to once per day;[90] in practice, however, visits are infrequent and allowed only at the discretion of the prison warden.[91]
  15. Japan still denies some death row inmates the right to consult legal counsel in private. Rule 61 of the Minimum Rules requires all consultations with counsel to be outside the hearing of prison staff.[92]In response to 2012 UPR Recommendation 147.44, which urged Japan to adopt better protections for communications with defense counsel,[93] Japan stated that “the right to confidential communication is guaranteed[.]”[94]However, this rightwas not guaranteed under law for prisoners sentenced to death until the Supreme Court’s 2013 judgment that death row inmates were entitled to unattended visits with counsel to discuss retrial.[95]
  16. In practice, however, Japan’s prison system does not guarantee death row inmates the protections the Supreme Court and the Minimum Rules have outlined.Pro bono advisers from the Center for Prisoners’ Rights have personally observed situations where prison staff refused to allow inmates – particularly Aum Shinrikyo cultists – to meet with their lawyers in private. These practices violate domestic laws as well as international norms governing the right to legal counsel and hinder the effective review of death sentences for error.
  17. RECOMMENDATIONS
  18. The authors of this joint stakeholder report suggest the following recommendations for the Government of Japan:
    • Replace the death penalty with a sentence that is fair, proportionate, and respects international human rights standards.
    • Impose an official moratorium on the death penalty immediately, both going forward and for persons currently on death row.
    • Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and enact domestic legislation to conform with the Protocol.
    • Amend the Penal Code to limit the death penalty to crimes resulting in death in which the defendant had the intent to kill.
    • Amend theAct on Criminal Trials with the Participation of Saiban-in to require unanimous decisions for verdicts of guilt and death sentences.
    • Amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to give suspects the right to have defense counsel attend all interrogations and to require authorities to inform suspects of this right before interrogations begin.
    • Amend the Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees to eliminate the substitute detention system.
    • Introduce a mandatory appeal system in capital cases.
    • Amend the Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees to conform with the revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
    • Amend the Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees to remove requirements for indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement of death row inmates, and require prison staff to comply with the amended law.
    • Amend the Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees to exempt meetings between inmates and defense counsel from monitoring by prison staff, regardless of an inmate’s sentencing status, and require prison staff to comply with the amended law.
    • Release appropriate information on the death penalty in Japan, including (1) the substitute detention system and the possibility of false confessions, (2) appeal procedures, and (3) international norms on penal detention, to allow for a meaningful national debate.

[1] Penal Code, Art. 9.

[2] Penal Code, Art. 11(1).

[3] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 475.

[4] Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 (Aug. 20, 2014).

[5] Penal Code, Art. 77(1)(i).

[6] Penal Code, Art. 81.

[7] Penal Code, Art. 82.

[8] Penal Code, Art. 108.

[9] Penal Code, Art. 117.

[10] Penal Code, Art. 119.

[11] Penal Code, Art. 81.

[12] Penal Code, Arts. 77(1)(i), 82, 108, 119, 126, 146, 199, 240, 241.

[13] Penal Code, Art. 39.

[14] Penal Code, Art. 66.

[15] Penal Code, Art. 38.

[16] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 479.

[17] Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 (Aug. 20, 2014).

[18] Juvenile Act, Act No. 48 of 1948, as amended by Act. No. 71 of 2008, Art. 51(1).

[19] Act on Criminal Trials with the Participation of Saiban-in, Act No. 63 of 2004, as amended by Act No. 44 of 2009, Art. 2.

[20] Supreme Court of Japan, Court System in Japan, available at http://www.courts.go.jp/english/judicial_sys/Court_System_of_Japan/index.html#03 (last accessed Mar. 9, 2017).

[21] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art 351; The Death Penalty in Japan (The Death Penalty Project, London, UK),at 27, available at http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf.

[22] Code of Criminal Procedure, Arts. 359, 360, 360-2, 361.

[23] Ordinance for Enforcement of the Pardon Act, Ministry of Justice Ordinance No. 78 of 1947, as amended by Ministry of Justice Ordinance No. 59 of 2006,  Art. 1.

[24] Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Art. 32.

[25]Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Art. 36; Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013).

[26]Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Art. 70; Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013).

[27]Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Arts. 121, 140.

[28]Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 15, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013); Japan: Man hanged as secretive executions continue (Amnesty International, New York, NY), Nov. 11, 2016, available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/japan-man-hanged-as-secretive-executions-continue/

[29]Japan: Man hanged as secretive executions continue (Amnesty International, New York, NY), Nov. 11, 2016, available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/japan-man-hanged-as-secretive-executions-continue/

[30]Japan’s death row population numbers 129 as 2016 ends, Japan Times, Dec. 30, 2016 (Seven people in 2016), available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/30/national/crime-legal/japans-death-row-population-numbers-129-2016-ends/#.WLW0LFUrLIU; Death Sentences and Executions: 2015 (Amnesty International, London, UK) April 2016, at 7 (Four people in 2015), available at https://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/act_5034872016_en_2103_web.pdf; Death Sentences and Executions: 2014 (Amnesty International, London, UK) March 31, 2015, at 6 (Two people in 2014), available at https://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/DeathSentencesAndExecutions2014_EN.pdf; Death Sentences and Executions: 2013 (Amnesty International, London, UK) March 26, 2014, at 8 (Five people in 2013), available at https://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/act500012014en.pdf.

[31]Burglar in Kyushu slayings hanged, Japan Times, Nov. 11, 2016, available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/11/national/crime-legal/burgler-kyushu-slayings-hanged/#.WLWtGFXyvIV

[32]Japan’s death row population numbers 129 as 2016 ends, Japan Times, Dec. 30, 2016, available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/12/30/national/crime-legal/japans-death-row-population-numbers-129-2016-ends/#.WLW0LFUrLIU

[33]Declaration Calling for Reform of the Penal System Including Abolition of the Death Penalty (Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan), Oct. 7, 2016, available at http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/en/document/statements/year/2016/161007.html

[34]Declaration Calling for Reform of the Penal System Including Abolition of the Death Penalty (Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan), Oct. 7, 2016, available at http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/en/document/statements/year/2016/161007.html

[35]Declaration Calling for Reform of the Penal System Including Abolition of the Death Penalty (Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan), Oct. 7, 2016, available at http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/en/document/statements/year/2016/161007.html

[36]Burglar in Kyushu slayings hanged, Japan Times, Nov. 11, 2016, available at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/11/national/crime-legal/burgler-kyushu-slayings-hanged/#.WLWtGFXyvIV

[37] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[38] G.A. Res. 39/118, U.N. Doc. A/RES/39/118 (Dec. 14, 1984).

[39]G.A. Res. 69/186, U.N. Doc. A/RES/69/186 (Dec. 18, 2014).

[40]G.A. Res. 70/175, U.N. Doc. A/RES/70/175 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[41] G.A. Res. 71/187, U.N. Doc. A/RES/71/187 (Dec. 19, 2016).

[42] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.1-147.8, 147.94, 147.95, 147-97, 147.98, 147.100-147.113, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[43] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.1-147.8, 147.94, 147.95, 147.97, 147.98, 147.100-147.113, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013).

[44] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.93, 147.99, 147.101-147.103, 147.111, 147.113, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[45] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.93, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013).

[46] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.123-147.125, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[47] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.144, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[48] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.121-147.122, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[49] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.121-147.125, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013); Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 32, 69, 100 and 101, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[50] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.144, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013)

[51] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.143-147.144, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[52] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.143-147.144, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013); Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 99, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[53] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.196, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[54] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.96, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013).

[55]Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[56] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.44(b), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013).

[57] ECOSOC Res. 1984/50, ¶ 1, available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/DeathPenalty.aspx; see also International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 6, ¶ 2, Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[58] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 14, ¶ 3(a), Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[59] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 14, ¶ 3(b), Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[60] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 14, ¶ 3(g), Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[61] ECOSOC Res. 1984/50, ¶ 5, available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/DeathPenalty.aspx.

[62]See Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 (Aug. 20, 2014); Declaration Calling for Reform of the Penal System Including Abolition of the Death Penalty (Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Tokyo, Japan), Oct. 7, 2016, available at http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/en/document/statements/year/2016/161007.html; The Death Penalty in Japan (The Death Penalty Project, London, UK), Feb. 2013,at 13-18, available at http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf.

[63] Code of Criminal Procedure, Arts. 203-205.

[64] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 203(3).

[65] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 208.

[66] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 208-2.

[67] Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Arts. 14 & 15.

[68]The Death Penalty in Japan (The Death Penalty Project, London, UK), Feb. 2013,at 18, available at http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf.

[69]The Death Penalty in Japan (The Death Penalty Project, London, UK), Feb. 2013,at 18, available at http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf.

[70] ECOSOC Res. 1984/50, ¶ 4, available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/DeathPenalty.aspx.

[71] ECOSOC Res. 1984/50, ¶ 6, available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/DeathPenalty.aspx.

[72] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 14, ¶ 5, Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[73] International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 6, ¶ 4, Mar. 23, 1976, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (Dec. 16, 1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171.

[74] Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 40 of the Covenant: Concluding observations of the Human Rights Committee: Japan, ¶ 16, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/JPN/CO/5 (Dec. 18, 2008).

[75] Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Japan, ¶ 13(d), U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/JPN/CO/6 (Aug. 20, 2014).

[76]See, e.g.The Death Penalty in Japan (The Death Penalty Project, London, UK), Feb. 2013,at 26-27, available at http://www.deathpenaltyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf; The Death Penalty in Japan: A denial of fundamental human rights (The Center for Prisoners’ Rights, et al., Tokyo, Japan), Oct. 10, 2014,at 8.

[77] Act on Criminal Trials with the Participation of Saiban-in, Act No. 63 of 2004, as amended by Act No. 44 of 2009, Art. 67(1).

[78]Judgment on Standards for Selection of the Death Penalty, Saiko Saibansho [Sup. Ct.], Jul. 8, 1983, 1981(A) 1505, 37 Keishu 6, p. 609.

[79] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.123-147.125, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[80] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 69, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[81]G.A. Res. 70/175, U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[82]G.A. Res. 70/175 Annex, Rule 43 ¶¶ 1(a)-(b), U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[83] G.A. Res. 70/175 Annex, Rule 44, U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[84] G.A. Res. 70/175 Annex, Rule 44, U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[85] G.A. Res. 70/175 Annex, Rule 45, ¶ 1, U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[86]See Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Art. 36.

[87]See Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Art. 36; Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013).

[88] Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 475 (1)-(2).

[89]Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 15, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013); Japan: Man hanged as secretive executions continue (Amnesty International, New York, NY), Nov. 11, 2016, available at https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/japan-man-hanged-as-secretive-executions-continue/

[90]See Act on Penal Detention Facilities and Treatment of Inmates and Detainees, Act No. 50 of 2005, as amended by Act No. 69 of 2014, Arts. 36(3) & 122.

[91]Committee Against Torture, Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Japan, ¶ 13, U.N. Doc. CAT/C/JPN/CO/2 (Jun. 28, 2013).

[92]G.A. Res. 70/175 Annex, Rule 61, U.N. Doc. A/RES/170/75 (Dec. 17, 2015).

[93] Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶ 147.44, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14 (Dec. 14, 2012).

[94] Human Rights Council, Addendum to Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Japan, ¶¶ 147.144, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/22/14/Add.1 (Mar. 8, 2013).

[95]See Judgment concerning whether or not it is unlawful in the context of application of Article 1, paragraph (1) of the State Redress Act for the warden of a penal institution to decide not to allow an inmate sentenced to death and the defense counsel appointed to file a request for a retrial on behalf of the inmate, despite their request, to have or make a visit without the attendance of a staff member of the penal institution in order to have discussions regarding the filing of the request for a retrial, Saiko Saibansho [Sup. Ct.], Dec. 10, 2013, 2012 (Ju) 1311, 67 Minshu 9, available at http://www.courts.go.jp/app/hanrei_en/detail?id=1211.