Today, two executions were carried out in Japan, adding to the nineteen other persons that have been executed by Japan since March 2012. The EU has consistently and repeatedly called on the Japanese authorities to adopt a moratorium on executions, recalling the period of 20 months before March 2012 when no executions in the country took place.
The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty and is opposed to the use of capital punishment under any circumstances. The death penalty is cruel and inhuman, and has not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime. We will continue our active pursuit of its abolition worldwide.
The EU joins all of those who, in Japan and abroad, have asked for a thorough review of Japan's current policy. In this context, we take particular note of the recent letter issued on 9 December 2015 by the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations on this topic.