Academic report

The Culture of Capital Punishment in Japan

By David T. Johnson, on 4 July 2020

Japan retains the death penalty for three main reasons: because it missed a major opportunity for abolition in the postwar Occupation, because of the long hegemony of the (conservative) Liberal Democratic Party, and because (like the United States and China) it has sufficient size, economic influence, and political clout to enable it to defy human rights norms. Capital punishment also persists in Japan because it performs welcome functions for politicians, prosecutors, media, and the public.
Despite widespread belief to the contrary, capital punishment in Japan does not deter homicide better than long terms of imprisonment do.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Japan