Japan Foreign Nationals and the Death Penalty Death Penalty Overview Japan is one of just two countries in the G7 nations (the other being the United States) to retain and regularly implement capital punishment. Though Japan recorded no executions in 2020, the death penalty had been regularly implemented for the previous nine consecutive years. In 2018, Japan recorded its highest number of executions in over a decade. The Japanese Penal Code outlines 19 crimes for which capital punishment may be imposed, including murder, robbery or arson resulting in death, treason and insurrection. Seven capital offences do not involve loss of life although in practice, execution is not imposed for crimes that do not result in death. Hanging is the exclusive method of execution in Japan. fi fi fi fi According to Japan's Ministry of Justice, there were 110 people on death row in December 2020. Death row prisoners are con ned in isolation and are often incarcerated for years before execution. Under a 2007 Japanese Prison Law (Article 36), death row inmates are to be held in solitary con nement, separated from other prisoners. Contact with persons outside of prison is severely restricted, including with lawyers. It is considered extremely shameful to be sentenced to death in Japan and prisoners are often shunned by their family, not receiving any visitors and even having to change their family name to help them avoid association. Details of when an execution will be carried out is withheld from defence lawyers, families, and death row prisoners themselves, with prisoners only being noti ed 1-2 hours' before they are executed. In November 2021, death row prisoners in Japan sued the government for the ‘inhumane’ process of same-day noti cation.

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