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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the death penalty in Japan


with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Keith Taylor, Frieda Brepoels, Sandrine Bélier, Barbara Lochbihler, Carl Schlyter on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0089/2012

Procedura : 2012/2542(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
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European Parliament resolution on the death penalty in Japan

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its resolution on the World Day against the death penalty of 7 October 2010,


- having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas of the G8 nations, only Japan and the United States still use capital punishment, while Russia has not executed anyone since 1996,


B. Whereas as a leading democracy in Asia and a key member of the international community, an official commitment by Japan towards the abolition of the death penalty will not only be consistent with the international trend but also send a powerful signal all over the world that the right to life must be respected and protected,


C. Whereas Japan has not carried out any execution since 28 July 2010, when Mr. Ogata Hidenori and Mr. Shinozawa Kazuo were hanged at the Tokyo detention centre,


D. Whereas 2011 has been the first year without any execution in Japan since 1993; whereas the new Minister of Justice Toshio Ogawa announced that he did not wish to continue the policy of caution of his predecessor Minister Hiraoka Hideo and would like to enact the death penalty again,


E. Whereas most death sentences in Japan are based on confessions extracted under duress while suspects are being held in police custody where detainees can be kept for up to 23 days after arrest, with no state-funded legal representation - implying a high potential for miscarriages of justice,


F. Whereas prisoners are not informed of their execution until the very day the execution and the families only learn about it after the act which represents a particular cruelty in view of the

long years of waiting on death row,


1. Urgently calls on the minister of justice not to approve any execution order in the future and support the work of the study group on the death penalty which was established in the Ministry of Justice in 2010,


2. Calls on Japan to sustain its efforts towards returning to the moratorium which was in place until 1993 and to engage in public and parliamentary debates of the use of capital punishment in the country,


3. Hopes that the study group can be transformed into a broad-based panel of experts, including civil society representatives, to study and make recommendations to the Government on the abolition of the death penalty,


4. Calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover to meet deathrow inmates on his visit to Japan in November 2012 and comment on the psychological health of these inmates in his report,


5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President/High Representative of Foreign and Security Policy, the Commission the Parliaments of the Member States, to the UN Secretary General, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government and Parliament of Japan.