Hi Blog. This is tangental to Debito.org, as it involves issues of the death penalty, not internationalization and multiculturalization. But it’s yet another example of Japan not following treaties. Do read to the very end, and goggle at a comment from Justice Minister Hatoyama…
TOP UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICIAL DISMAYED BY EXECUTION OF THREE JAPANESE PRISONERS
UN News.org. New York, Dec 7 2007 7:00PM
Courtesy UNNews AT un.org
The top United Nations human rights official today deplored the execution of three prisoners – including one aged over 75 – in Osaka, Japan, and appealed to the East Asian nation to reassess its approach to the death penalty.
The executions reportedly took place suddenly and neither the convicts nor their families were given advance warning.
“This practice is problematic under international law, and I call on Japan to reconsider its approach in this regard,” Louise Arbour, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said.
Expressing particularly dismay at the execution of the prisoner over the age of 75, she said that “it is difficult to see what legitimate purpose is served by carrying out such executions of the elderly, and at the very least on humanitarian grounds, I would urge Japan to refrain from such action.”
In contrast to carrying out executions in secret as it has done in the past, Japan publicly released the names of those executed, the High Commissioner noted.
Japan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which legally obligates States Parties to ensure strict safeguards when applying the death penalty. It is widely accepted that executions cannot be carried out in secret and without warning, as this could be seen as inhuman punishment and treatment under the ICCPR.
Ms. Arbour urged the Japanese Government to implement a moratorium on executions or ban the practice altogether, as a growing number of nations have.
COMMENT: And this is where our Justice Minister, Hatoyama “al-Qaeda” Kunio, was referring to about the higher value put on life in Japan than in the West? I included this in an earlier Newsletter, but it bears repeating:
Interview with Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama
Shuukan Asahi, October 26, 2007 P.122.
Title: “The Reason I will carry out Executions.”
Partial translation by Michael H. Fox, Director, Japan Death Penalty Information Center
Q: There is a big trend to abolish the death penalty worldwide. Why do you want to keep it in Japan?
HATOYAMA: The Japanese place so much importance on the value of life, so it is thought that one should pay with one’s life after taking the life of another. You see, the Western nations are civilizations based on power and war. So, conversely, things are moving against the death penalty. This is an important point to understand. The so called civilizations of power and war are opposite (from us). From incipient stages, their conception of the value of life is weaker than the Japanese. Therefore, they are moving toward abolishment of the death penalty. It is important that this discourse on civilizations be understood.
The entire article translated with commentary by Michael H. Fox was recently published on Japan Focus. See
Debito in Sapporo