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EU and 29 European countries deliver joint letter on capital punishment to Justice Minister Kaneda

EU News 331/2016

11 October 2016

Representatives of the European Union and 29 European countries signed a letter delivered to Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda today that invites him to promote an open debate on the death penalty in Japan.

The letter, delivered following the European and World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October, comes on the heels of the adoption by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations of a declaration calling for the abolition of the death penalty in Japan.

The EU, its Member States, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland all consider the death penalty to be a violation of human dignity that has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime, and are opposed to it in all cases and under all circumstances. The global trend is already towards abolition: over 140 countries – and more than 2/3 of the countries of the world - are abolitionist in law or practice. Europe would like to see Japan join this worldwide trend and the growing community of nations which have ceased to apply death penalty.