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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.

Japan Newsroom



December 9, 2018 • Report

Oppressive, sexist policies galvanize bold fight for women’s rights in 2018

Women activists around the world have been at the forefront of the battle for human rights in 2018, Amnesty International said today as it launched its review on the state of human rights over the past year. The human rights group also warns that the actions of “tough guy” world leaders pushing misogynistic, xenophobic and …

March 25, 2016 • Press Release

Japan: Two hanged as chilling executions continue

The Japanese authorities’ reprehensible execution of two people today, continues to place the country on the wrong side of history, Amnesty International said.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

December 28, 2015 • Press Release

“Comfort women” deal must not deny survivors justice

In response to the announcement that the Japanese and South Korean governments have reached an agreement on the issue of Japan's World War II military sexual slavery system, Hiroka Shoji, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International said:

December 18, 2015 • Press Release

Japan: Two men hanged as disgraceful executions continue

The Japanese authorities’ reprehensible use of the death penalty shows no sign of letting up as another two men were executed today, taking the total number of executions to 14 under the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Amnesty International said.

October 5, 2015 • Press Release

Japanese prisoner dies after 46 years on death row

The death in prison of a Japanese man who spent more than 46 years facing execution, after a conviction based on a forced confession, underlines the urgent need for a review of all similar cases, Amnesty International said today.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.

January 27, 2014 • Press Release

NHK Broadcaster Defends Sexual Slavery in Japan

The new head of Japan’s national broadcaster NHK defence of the country’s wartime military sexual slavery is deplorable, said Amnesty International.