ICCPR Concluding Observations of Japan’s 6th periodic review is released

In July 2014, the Human Rights Committee examined Japan’s 6th periodic report on the measures taken to implement its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the Covenant).

The Covenant is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. Its main provisions include right to life, freedom of expression and assembly, prohibition of all sorts of discrimination, etc. and “Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant.” Japan has ratified it in 1979.

The Covenant is monitored by the United Nations Human Rights Committee started from 1976, and it was in 2008 when the latest review of Japan was done by the Committee.  Although 6 years has passed since the last review, a number of recommendations were regarded with little respect by the Japanese government and new issues such as the Special Secret Act, hate speech, and human rights situations after the disaster of Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant appeared as important to gain international attention. Together with other NGOs, Human Rights Now held a pre-review press conference, lobbying effort to the Committee in Geneva, and a briefing to the MPs to raise public awareness for the concerned issues.

As a result, Concluding Observations appeared to contain some very powerful recommendations from the Committee and HRN will continue its advocacy to make sure the Japanese government to be held accountable for the human rights situations in Japan.

Please check the Concluding Observations here; Concluding Observations [PDF]