On 13 July 2017, two executions were carried out in Japan, adding to 24 other persons that have been executed since March 2012. The European Union, its Member States, Norway, and Switzerland have consistently called on the Japanese authorities to adopt a moratorium on executions, recalling the period of 20 months before March 2012 when no executions in the country took place.
“We hold a strong and principled position against the death penalty and we are opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. The death penalty is cruel and inhuman, and has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime. Furthermore, any errors are irreversible. We will continue our active pursuit of its abolition worldwide.”
“Taking into account the voices of those who, in Japan and abroad, call for a thorough review of capital punishment and its place in the overall criminal justice system, we call on Japanese authorities to promote an open, public debate on this issue. Such a debate would allow the public to assess for themselves the evidence from other countries, including European countries, that an abolition of the death penalty can actually strengthen the capacity of judicial systems to effectively deliver justice, prevent irreversible miscarriages of justice, and meet with public acceptance.”