EU — Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the death penalty in Japan

Cather­ine Ash­ton, the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion, made the fol­low­ing state­ment today:

“I deeply regret the exe­cu­tion by hang­ing of Hide­nori Oga­ta and Kazuo Shi­noza­wa on 28 July 2010, and the fact that this marks the resump­tion of exe­cu­tions in Japan after one year dur­ing which none took place. The Euro­pean Union is opposed to the use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in all cas­es and under all cir­cum­stances and has con­sis­tent­ly called for its uni­ver­sal abo­li­tion. The EU believes that the death penal­ty is cru­el and inhu­man and that its abo­li­tion is essen­tial to pro­tect human dig­ni­ty.

Although I deeply regret these exe­cu­tions, I wel­come the lat­est efforts by the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice to fos­ter pub­lic debate in Japan about the death penal­ty and her deci­sion to set up a pan­el to study the issue.

Japan and the EU are close part­ners on a wide range of human rights con­cerns around the world.

The EU has on a num­ber of occa­sions called on the Japan­ese author­i­ties for a mora­to­ri­um on the appli­ca­tion of the death penal­ty, pend­ing its com­plete legal abo­li­tion. This would bring Japan into line with the world­wide trend away from the death penal­ty. More than two-thirds of coun­tries around the world have for­mal­ly abol­ished or ceased to apply the death penal­ty, as called for by the UN Gen­er­al Assem­bly.”

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union

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