NGO report

The Death Penalty in Japan: The Law of Silence – Going Against the International Trend

By Florence Bellivier / International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) / Dan Van Raemdonck / Jiazhen Wu, on 8 September 2020

This report is the outcome of a fact-finding mission conducted by FIDH in July 2008, in order to assess the measures taken by the Japanese government to implement the recommendations made by a previous investigation, conducted in 2003.The conclusions of the report are appalling. According to Florence Bellivier, General Secretary of FIDH “Japan continues to condemn criminals to death, and incarcerate them up for decades, in prisons where secrecy and isolation are commonplace, in total disregard of the world opinion”. In addition, the rhythm of the executions has accelerated over the recent years. “2008 has been a record year, with more executions this year than in any other of the last fifteen years. We are witnessing a real step backwards” added Dan Van Raemdonck, Vice-President of FIDH. Thirteen persons have been executed since the beginning of the year, and 102 are currently on death row. There has not been a single retrial of a death penalty case since 1986, and no convicted prisoner has been pardoned since 1975.