JAPAN – Hakamada Birthday Campaign “Fight for a Fighter”

Japan Hakamada logo

Below is a campaign initiated by ADPAN member Amnesty International (AI) Japan with a request that you take action.


Hakamada Iwao’s birthday is coming up on March 10. AI Japan are organising a public action in Tokyo to mark this occasion, and would like to show solidarity and support from around the world.

 1) Take a Photo

Please take a photo with you holding a message of support in your left hand and showing a fighting pose. Make a tight fist and look to your right (like the logo posted above and the photo below). We have prepared a blank card that you can use to write your message (available via this link hakamada_B4). Please be sure to write your message with big letters so that we can read it.

Japan Hakamada action example

2) Send your photo to Amnesty International Japan

Please send your photos to the e-mail address below so that we can use them at the birthday event in Tokyo on 10 March and future campaigning events.

Address to send the photos: amnestyinternationaljapan@gmail.com

3) Share your photo on Twitter

You can also use Twitter to express your solidarity with Hakamada. From 1 – 10 March, please share your photo on Twitter and we will collect them. Please do not forget to put a hash tag #hakamada at the end of any tweet, or we cannot find your precious photos.

For inquiry:

Amnesty International Japan


Hiroka Shoji (shoji@amnesty.or.jp)

JAPAN – Three more executions – ADPAN fears more may follow

21 February 2013

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) condemns the executions of Masahiro Kanagawa, 29, Kaoru Kobayashi, 44, and Keiki Kano, 62, carried out in Japan on Thursday 21 February.

The executions are the first to take place in Japan since Prime Minister Abe’s Liberal Democrat Party came to power in December 2012.

Masahiro Kanagawa, 29, was hanged at Tokyo Detention Centre, along with Kaoru Kobayashi, 44, at Osaka Detention Centre and Keiki Kano, 62, at Nagoya Detention Centre. It is believed that both Kobayashi and Kano were in the process of preparing to apply for retrials.

Justice Minister Tanigaki, who took office in December 2012, has publicly expressed his support for the death penalty. During Abe’s last term as Prime Minister ten people were hanged in less than a year.

ADPAN fears that today’s executions may see an acceleration in the number of executions under the current administration. This would be in spite of calls from multiple UN bodies for Japan to work towards abolition. In October last year, during the Second Review of Japan’s human rights situation by the UN Human Rights Council, as many as 24 countries made recommendations related to reviewing the use of the death penalty. Japan stands out as one of the few industrialised countries to still use the death penalty.

It is estimated that 134 people are on death row in Japan. Nineteen offences carry the death penalty, although in practice it is only imposed for murder. Executions are by hanging and are typically carried out in secret. No advance notice is given to their families and lawyers. The death row inmates themselves are only notified on the morning they are hanged living under constant fear of execution.

ADPAN is also concerned that Japan relies heavily on the daiyo kangoku system, which allows the police to detain and interrogate a suspect for up to twenty-three days with very limited access to legal counsel and puts suspects at risk of torture and ill-treatment.

ADPAN opposes the death penalty in all cases, and calls upon the Japanese government to place a moratorium on all executions, to commute all death sentences and to work toward abolition of the death penalty for all crimes.

ADPAN member CPR issued a statement condemning the executions: http://www.cpr.jca.apc.org/archive/statement#1160

ADPAN members in Japan:

Center for Prisoners Rights

Forum 90

Follow ADPAN on Twitter @ADPANetwork


JAPAN – Twitter action @Japan_Homu ‘Stop Executions’!

On 21 February, three death-row inmates were hanged in Japan, which are the first executions since the new government came to power in December 2012.

Masahiro Kanagawa, 29, was hanged at Tokyo Detention Centre, Kaoru Kobayashi, 44, at Osaka Detention Centre and Keiki Kano, 62, at Nagoya Detention Centre. Kobayashi and Kano were executed despite both being in the process of preparing to apply for retrials.

There are 134 inmates on death row in Japan, and there are fears that this signals the start of a new wave of executions under the new regime.


Ensure that the new Minister of Justice, Sadakazu Tanigaki, hears our condemnation of these hangings as soon as possible, to deter him from signing off on future executions.


Tweet the following messages from your channels directly to the Minister of Justice’s twitter account (@Japan_Homu).  Please include the Japanese translation and the #deathpenalty tag.

Suggested tweets:

Start of a new wave of executions in #Japan? Tell new gov’t no more /死刑を止める新しい流れを作ろう。新政権に対して死刑執行を停止するよう訴えよう@Japan_Homu #deathpenalty

RT to tell #Japan to stop executions as three are hanged/リツイートをして日本に、死刑執行停止を停止を呼びかけよう@Japan_Homu #deathpenalty

Three hanged by new gov’t in #Japan – urge them to stop executions /新政権下で3人の死刑が執行された。死刑を停止するよう求めよう@Japan_Homu #deathpenalty

Supporting documents:

An ADPAN press release will be issued shortly.

Updates to the action will be posted here on the ADPAN blog. Follow us @ADPANetwork.