Moratorium for Executions in Japan 2019-2020.

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Petition for a Two Year Moratorium on Executions in Japan: 2019~2020. 

  In 2018, 15 prisoners were executed in Japan. This equals the highest amount since 1975.  From 1993 onward, 127 prisoners have been sent to the gallows. This includes 3 women, 7 prisoners over the age of 70, 2 who were minors at the time of the crime, and 7 who were originally sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 2019, the government is planning much fanfare for the enthronement of the new emperor. In many countries, such festivities usually bring commutations and  other acts of mercy for the less fortunate members of society. Sending prisoners to the gallows would certainly tarnish the celebrations and demean the significance of the enthronement.

In 2020, Tokyo will host the summer Olympics and Paralympics. In 1964, Tokyo also hosted the event and no executions occurred during the year. Moreover, in April, Kyoto will host the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. This congress will bring delegates from all over the world to discuss ways to reform and advance treatment of the criminally accused. And soon after, Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE), an international organization with chapters in several countries, will also hold a conference in Kyoto. Both the United Nations Commission and CURE abhor capital punishment and extra-judicial executions.

  On December 19, 2018, 121 countries of the UN General Assembly, a new record, voted for a universal moratorium on the death penalty. It is unfortunate that Japan voted in the minority, against abolition.

During the two year period of 2019~2020, world attention will be focussed on Japan. The use of the gallows will only diminish this nation's reputation. We urgently request the Ministry of Justice to suspend executions for the two year period from January 1, 2019  to December 31, 2020.