Japan Human Rights

Human Rights Concerns

Elections in September increased the majority of the ruling party. The deployment of Japanese troops as overseas peacekeepers renewed public debate on whether to revise Article 9 of the Constitution which defines Japan as pacifist.

In November, the former President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, left Japan for Chile where he was arrested at the request of the Peruvian authorities, pending an extradition request.

The 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, and renewed efforts by the government to secure a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, increased tensions in the east Asia region. The government was criticized for its continued failure to apologize adequately and provide full reparations for wartime crimes against humanity such as forced sexual slavery, and for the way Japanese history textbooks portray its past aggressions.

The Diet (parliament) debated but did not adopt a Bill first submitted in 2003 to establish a national human rights commission.

The government indicated that it would accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court by 2009.

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They deceived, abducted or otherwise forced an estimated 200,000 women and girls, some as young as 12 years old, into a system of sexual slavery.
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A decision by Japanese prosecutors to appeal against a court ruling to grant a retrial to Hakamada Iwao - who has spent over 45 years on death row - will only add to the decades of psychological tortu...