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Thursday, October 16, 2014, 14:30 - 16:00

The Quest to Scrap Japan's Death Penalty *Documentary showing: 14:30
Noriko Ishida
President of Osaka Bar Association (OBA)
Takeshi Kaneko
Chairperson, Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project Team of OBA
Sadato Goto
Vice-Chairperson, Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project Team of OBA
Yukihiro Masaki
Deputy Secretary General, Death Penalty Moratorium Implementation Project Team of OBA
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 Japan's death penalty is once again in the global spotlight, following the release earlier this year of Iwao Hakamada, who waited 45 years awaiting execution. A court said the police evidence that put him behind bars in 1966 was probably fabricated. Hakamada dubbed the world's longest-serving death-row prisoner is awaiting a fresh verdict later this year. Prosecutors have lodged an appeal against his retrial.

 Abolitionists say the Hakamada case shows why the government must scrap its gallows. Japan is one of 22 nations and the only developed country - apart from the United States - that retains capital punishment. Justice Minister Midori Matsushima, however, is not for turning. "I don't think it deserves any immediate reform, " she insisted recently. The gallows are needed "to punish certain very serious crimes, "she said.

 Opponents are hoping that the state's stubborn fight to wheel an immobile, severely ill pensioner (Mr Hakamada suffers from advanced dementia) back to the gallows might trigger a debate and backlash. Four leading campaigners have agreed to come to the FCCJ and discuss their case. They will show a documentary titled "Is Hanging a Cruel Punishment?" and explain how hangings are carried out, and why Japan’s public remains largely in the dark about the system they pay for.

 The documentary questions Japan's claim that hanging is a humane way to take the lives of condemned prisoners. It also includes the testimony of Takeshi Tsuchimoto, a former public prosecutor, who witnessed a judicial hanging. FCCJ members will for the first time be given an opportunity to view the documentary with English subtitles, and to question the three speakers afterwards about this deeply controversial subject.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or o website (still & TV cameras inclusive). Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation.

Professional Activities Committee

Oct 16 14 PC Noriko IshidaTakeshi Kaneko  Yukihiro Masaki Sadao Goto013Oct 16 14 PC Noriko IshidaTakeshi Kaneko  Yukihiro Masaki Sadao Goto022Oct 16 14 PC Noriko IshidaTakeshi Kaneko  Yukihiro Masaki Sadao Goto023Oct 16 14 PC Noriko IshidaTakeshi Kaneko  Yukihiro Masaki Sadao Goto037

Noriko Ishida                   Takeshi Kaneko               Yukihiro Masaki              Sadao Goto

 

 

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