Comments of the Japanese Government on the Concluding Observations adopted by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 20, 2000, regarding initial and second periodic report of the Japanese Government
- With regard to the ethnic composition ratio of the population in paragraph 7, regarding the recommendation of providing information on economic and social indicators of all minorities covered by the scope of the Convention, including the Korean minority, Burakumin and Okinawa communities;
(1) First of all, in relation to economic and social indicators of the Ainu, we will also make a report next time as we did in the initial and second periodic reports. Furthermore, we will consider what information can be offered on economic and social indicators of Koreans residing in Japan.
(2) On the other hand, we consider the scope of application of the Convention as follows.
- In the first place, Article 1(1) of the Convention provides "racial discrimination" subject to the Convention as "all distinctions based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin...". Therefore, the Convention is considered to cover discrimination against groups of people who are generally considered to share biological characteristics, groups of people who are generally considered to share cultural characteristics and individuals belonging to these groups based on the reason of having these characteristics. Those who live in Okinawa prefecture or natives of Okinawa are of the Japanese race, and generally, in the same way as natives of other prefectures, they are not considered to be a group of people who share biological or cultural characteristics under social convention, and therefore, we do not consider them to be covered by the Convention.
- Furthermore, concerning "descent" provided in Article 1(1) of this Convention, in the process of deliberation on the Convention, there was the problem that the words "national origin" may lead to the misunderstanding that the words include the concept of "nationality" which is a concept based on legal status. In order to solve the problem, "descent" was proposed together with "place of origin" as a replacement for "national origin". However, we know that the wording was not sufficiently arranged after that, and "descent" remained in this provision.
Based on such deliberation process, in application of the Convention, "descent" indicates a concept focusing on the race or skin color of a past generation, or the national or ethnic origins of a past generation, and it is not understood as indicating a concept focusing on social origin.
At the same time, with regard to the Dowa issue (discrimination against the Burakumin), the Japanese government believes that "Dowa people are not a different race or a different ethnic group, and they belong to the Japanese race and are Japanese nationals without question."
(3) The Population Census in Japan is a statistical survey conducted by obliging all people living in Japan to answer, therefore it is carried out by limiting the number of census topics to the minimum for performance of national basic policies in consideration of the burden of those filling it out.
- With regard to "the population in Okinawa seeks to be recognized as a specific ethnic group and claims that the existing situation on the island leads to acts of discrimination against it" in paragraph 7;
(1) We know that some people claim that the population in Okinawa is a different race from the Japanese race; however, we do not believe that this claim represents the will of the majority of the people in Okinawa. Also, as described in 1(2)(a), those who live in Okinawa prefecture or natives of Okinawa are of the Japanese race, and they are not generally considered to be a group of people who share different biological or cultural characteristics from the Japanese race.
(2) It is not necessarily clear what "the existing situation on the island leads to acts of discrimination against the population on Okinawa," which the Committee pointed out, specifically means. However, concerning U.S. military facilities and their areas in Okinawa, in order to relieve the burden on residents of Okinawa due to the concentration of 75% of all U.S. military facilities and areas in Japan, the Japanese government has been working on steady implementation of the final report by SACO (Special Action Committee on Okinawa), which aims at arrangement, integration and reduction of the U.S. military facilities and areas with full force in cooperation with the U.S. government.
(3) Also, for prevention of incidents and accidents by U.S. personnel, the Japanese government has been requesting enforcement of official discipline and prevention of reoccurrence to the U.S. side on repeated occasions, including at the ministerial level. The government will work on the U.S. side to make efforts to prevent incidents and accidents from occurring in the future. In relation to this, the cooperative system has been implemented since fall of 2000. Under the system, a working team composed of related parties such as the U.S. military, the Japanese government, local authorities, the local police force and the chamber of commerce and industry studies and decides concrete measures which can be taken especially for prevention of recurrence of incidents and accidents involving drinking.
- (1) With regard to the meaning of "descent" in Article 1(1) of the Convention mentioned in paragraph 8, the Japanese government's understanding is as described in the above 1(2)(b), and therefore, the government does not share the interpretation of "descent" with the Committee.
(2) At any rate, on the basis of the spirit declared in the preamble of the Convention, we take it for granted that no discrimination should be conducted including discrimination such as the Dowa issue (discrimination against the Burakumin). For those related to the Burakumin, the Constitution of Japan stipulates not only guarantee of being equal as Japanese nationals under the law but also guarantee of equality of all rights as Japanese nationals. Therefore, there is no discrimination at all for civil, political, economic and cultural rights under the legal system.
(3) With the aim of resolving the problem of discrimination against the Burakumin through improvement of the low economic level, living environment, etc., of Burakumin communities, the government enacted three special measures laws, which are the Law on Special Measures for Dowa Projects, the Law on Special Measures for Regional Improvement and the Law Concerning Special Government Financial Measures for Regional Improvement Special Projects, and has been actively promoting various measures for more than 30 years.
We believe that as a result of long-standing activities to resolve the problem of discrimination against the Burakumin by both the government and local public entities, gaps in various aspects have been largely reduced, including completion of establishment of a physical foundation such as improvement of the living environment in Burakumin. We also believe that education and enlightenment for relieving the sense of discrimination have been promoted based on various plans, and the sense of discrimination among the people has certainly been lessened.
- Paragraph 9 of the concluding observations
(1) The government is not in position to make comments on the ideal way of application of provision of the Convention related to individual cases at the courts. When generalizing, it is not concluded that the courts are reluctant to apply the Convention immediately because there are few cases referring to provision of the Convention in opinions in consideration of the following: 1) There is a constraint that applying law by the court premises a fact authorized by the court based on facts claimed or evidence submitted by the parties concerned: 2) Since the purport of the Convention has already been reflected in the provision of domestic law, there are considerable cases in which the conclusion would be the same even if the provision of the Convention itself is not applied.
(2) With regard to status of both the Convention and provisions thereof in domestic law, Article 98, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution of Japan provides that "The treaties concluded by Japan and established laws of nations shall be faithfully observed." Therefore, treaties, etc. which Japan concluded and published have effect as domestic law. There is no express provision concerning relation between treaties concluded by Japan and laws in the Constitution of Japan, however treaties are considered to be superior to laws.
However, since the substantive provision of the Convention (Article 2 to 7) provides "the States Parties undertake...," the Convention shall be considered not originally to establish individual rights and obligations but to place an obligation of elimination of racial discrimination on the States Parties. Japan has been fulfilling the obligations which the Convention places on the States Parties as reported in the initial and second periodic report of the Japanese Government.
- Paragraph 10 of the concluding observations
(1) Article 4 (a) and (b) put the States Parties under an obligation of penalization, however, as mentioned in 6 below, Japan puts reservation stating that the country fulfils obligations of Article 4 as long as it does not conflict with the Constitution. Since Article 4(c) does not provide any concrete measures which the States Parties should take, it is understood to be left to the rational discretion of each States Party.
Also, the preamble of Article 5 states, "In compliance with the fundamental obligations laid down in Article 2 of this Convention...", therefore, it is understood as not exceeding the scope of obligations provided in Article 2. However, on the other hand, as it is obvious from the provision "by all appropriate means" in Article 2 (1), legislative measures are required by circumstances and are requested to be taken when the States Parties consider legislation appropriate. We do not recognize that the present situation of Japan is one in which discriminative acts cannot be effectively restrained by the existing legal system and in which explicit racial discriminative acts, which cannot be restrained by measures other than legislation, are conducted. Therefore, penalization of these acts is not considered necessary.
(2) Furthermore, with regard to dissemination and expression of ideas of racial discrimination, if the idea includes content which damages the honor or credit of a certain individual or group, it is possible to penalize them under the crime of defamation, insult or damage of credit/obstruction of business under the Penal Code. In addition, it is possible to penalize them under the crime of intimidation under the Penal Code if the ideas contain intimidatory content aimed at a certain individual. Also, violent actions with a motivation or background of a racially discriminatory idea can be penalized under the crime of inflicting injury, crime of violence, etc. under the Penal Code.
(3) Also, with regard to discrimination by private individuals, when an illegal act is committed, liability for damage arises for those who have conducted such act (Article 709 of the Civil Code, etc.). Also, in case of a juristic act of violation of public policy or good morals, the act shall be invalidated based on Article 90 of the Civil Code.
(4) The Council for Human Rights Promotion established in the Ministry of Justice has been intensively examining and deliberating "basic matters regarding the improvement of relief measures for the victims in cases of human rights infringement" since September 1999, and submitted a report on the ideal framework of the human rights remedy system in May 2001.
The report proposes that the new human rights remedy system the central core of which is the Human Rights Committee (tentative name), independent of the government, should be created and that the said committee should provide active relief measures with more effective investigatory procedure and remedial methods for the victims of certain human rights infringements. It also says that it is necessary to define the scope of human rights infringement against which active relief measures should be taken on the basis of the purport of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, including discriminatory treatment based on race, color, or national or ethnic origin, etc. in social life and harassment relating to race, etc. The government, having the utmost regard for the recommendations of the Council, will make every endeavor to establish the proposed new human rights relief mechanism.
- Expression of concern by the Committee about reservation of Article 4 (a) and (b) in paragraph 11
We are sufficiently aware of General Recommendations VII and XV of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. However, the concept provided by Article 4 may include extremely wide-ranging acts both in various scenes and of various modes. Therefore, to regulate all of them by penal statute exceeding the existing legislation is liable to conflict with guarantees provided by the Constitution of Japan such as freedom of expression, which severely requires both necessity and rationality of the constraint, and the principle of the legality of crimes and punishment, which requests both concreteness and definiteness of the scope of punishment. For this reason, Japan decided to put reservation on Article 4 (a) and (b).
Also, the government does not think that Japan is currently in a situation where dissemination of racial discriminatory ideas or incitement of racial discrimination are conducted to the extent that the government must consider taking legislative measures for punishment against dissemination of racial discriminatory idea, etc. at the risk of unjustly atrophying lawful speech by withdrawing the above reservation.
- Recommendation of paragraph 12, ensuring both penalization of racial discrimination and effective protection from and remedies for racially discriminatory acts
As described in the above 6, Japan puts reservation of implementing obligations of Article 4 (a) and (b) as long as not conflicting with the above guarantee at the conclusion of the Convention in consideration of the importance of freedom of expression, etc. guaranteed under the Constitution. However, legislative obligation for punishment within the scope is sufficiently secured, as described in the above 5, by existing penal statute such as defamation, and claim for damages is also possible through Civil procedure, therefore there are sufficient domestic laws to secure fulfillment of the obligations under the Convention with the above reservation.
In addition, the Human Rights Organs of the Ministry of Justice actively conduct promotional activities concerning all forms of discrimination including racial discrimination with the aim of disseminating and enhancing respect for human rights. Human rights counseling rooms are set up to accept inquiries from those who have suffered discrimination. In addition, when specifically recognizing incidents of alleged infringement of fundamental human rights, the Organs promptly investigate the incidents as human rights infringements cases, find out the fact of the infringement, and based on the results, take proper measures for the case.
The Council for Human Rights Promotion established in the Ministry of Justice considered remedy measures for racial discrimination based on the purport of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It submitted a report on the ideal framework of the human rights remedy system in May 2001. The report proposes that a new human rights remedy system the central core of which is the Human Rights Committee (tentative name), independent of the government, should be created , and that the said committee should provide active relief measures with more effective investigatory procedure and remedial measures for the victims of certain human rights infringements including discriminatory treatment based on race, color, or national or ethnic origin, etc. in social life. The government, having the utmost regard for the recommendations of the Council, will make every endeavor to establish the proposed new human rights relief mechanism so that it can provide effective remedies for victims of discriminatory treatments based on race etc.
- With regard to "the Committee notes with concern discriminatory statements made by high-level public officials and, in particular, the lack of administrative or legal action taken by the authorities as a consequence in violation of Article 4 (c) of the Convention and the interpretation that such acts can be punishable only if there is an intention to promote and incite racial discrimination" in paragraph 13;
(1) The main paragraph of Article 4 limits subjects to be condemned by the States Parties to all propaganda, etc. which is based on ideas or theories of superiority of one race, etc., or which attempt to justify or promote racial hatred and discrimination. As it is clear from the limitation, the article places an obligation of taking certain measures against acts with the intention of promoting racial discrimination on the States Parties. Therefore, it is considered that acts without such intention are not the subject of the article.
(2) Japan is not the only country which makes such interpretation. For example, Article 18, Paragraph 5 of the Public Order Act of 1986 in the UK provides that "a persons who is not shown to have intended to stir up racial hatred is not guilty of an offence under this section if he did not intend his words, or behavior, or the written material, to be, and was not aware that might be. threatening, abusive or insulting."
(3) Furthermore, the Joint Statement on "Racism and the Media" (a joint statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS (Organization of American States) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression) defines laws for discriminatory statements as follows: "No one should be penalized for the dissemination of hate speech unless it has been shown that they did so with the intention of inciting discrimination, hostility or violence."
- With regard to "the Committee urges the States Parties to provide appropriate training to public officials, law enforcement officers and administrators" in paragraph 13;
The government has been conventionally taking subjects related to human rights in the curricula of various training programs for national public officials and thoroughly educating them on various conventions related to human rights and the idea of the Constitution of Japan which declares respect for human rights.
For police officers, the government has been providing classes related to human rights protection including respect for human rights and various human rights-related conventions at training provided for newly-employed police officers and promoted police officers at police academies. These classes are included in classes on the Constitution, a fundamental law for human rights, on ethics of duties and on social studies
Also, since police practices are duties deeply related to human rights, education is conducted based on the purport of the various human rights-related conventions and the Constitution on every occasion such as training at the working place, aiming at execution of duties in consideration of human rights.
Judges acquire qualification for the legal profession after receiving a course for legal apprentices at the Legal Research and Training Institute as well as public prosecutors and attorneys. In lectures during the course for legal apprentices, the International Covenants on Human Rights and various problems related to human rights are covered. Furthermore, after appointment to a judge, curriculums related to human rights problems such as the International Covenants on Human Rights are set up at various workshops at the Legal Research and Training Institute.
As such, Japan has been educating public officials, law enforcement officers and administrators about human rights including elimination of racial discrimination, and will continue to make further efforts for enrichment of the said education in the future.
- In relation to "the Committee is concerned about reports on violent actions against Koreans, mainly children, students and about inadequate reaction of the authorities in this regard and recommends the Government to take more resolute measures to prevent and counter such acts," in paragraph 14;
(1) In Japan, such violent actions are criminalized based on the punishable violations of the law stipulated in the penal code, such as murder, infliction of bodily injury, and acts of violence. The Japanese government is exerting efforts to make impartial dispositions regarding violent actions motivated by racial discrimination based on law and evidence.
(2) The police have already taken measures to prevent further occurrence of such violent actions by keeping stricter watch at places where such actions are likely to take place and during the times in which students go to and leave school, as well as by collaborating with related organizations and cooperating with schools.
In addition, Article 189 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides that police officers shall, when they consider that there exists an offense, investigate the offender and evidence. Accordingly, active investigations have been made to resolve cases irrespective of whether the injured party was Japanese or non-Japanese by observing the equality under the law stipulated in Article 14 (1) of the Constitution of Japan. Therefore, "inadequate reaction" pointed out in the Concluding Observations is not true.
(3) Furthermore, the human rights organs of the Ministry of Justice promptly gathered information on these incidents of violence, and aggressively conducted awareness raising activities in order to prevent such violent actions by calling public attention to the prevention of discrimination on the streets, distributing information booklets and putting up posters in school-commuting roads and public transport that are used by many Korean children and students residing in Japan. The government will continue conducting positive investigations and implementing measures appropriate for each case regarding the cases that are suspected of infringing human rights, and making efforts to raise awareness of respect for human rights among those concerned.
- In relation to paragraph 15;
(1) In cases where children of foreign nationality residing in Japan did not choose to receive Japanese education, it is undeniable that they might find some kind of difference in subsequent education, training and employment compared with those that received Japanese school education.
(2) It goes without saying that such difference must not lead to an infringement on the economic, social and cultural rights contained in article 5 of the Convention. Under the Japanese system, these rights are guaranteed without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin.
- In relation to "the Committee is particularly concerned that studies in Korean are not recognized and resident Korean students receive unequal treatment with regard to access to higher education," in paragraph 16;
(1) In Japan, regulations were amended in September 1999 to enable graduates from foreign schools including Korean schools in Japan to acquire the qualification for entering a college or university by taking the University Entrance Qualification Examination. In addition, since 1979, the qualification for entering a college or university has also been recognized for international school graduates who have acquired the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma provided by the International Baccalaureate Organization, a nonprofit educational organization in Switzerland.
(2) As mentioned in (1) above, the Japanese Government recognize the qualification for entering a college or university to graduates from foreign schools that do not meet the standards of public education on condition that they satisfy certain academic requirements, and our understanding is that such a practice is common throughout the world. Therefore, the insistence on "unequal treatment" in the Concluding Observations is inadequate.
(3) In fact, even schools in which most of students are Korean can be authorized as regular schools if they meet the public education standards. As a matter of fact, the qualification for entering a college or university is recognized for graduates from such authorized schools. Each school can decide whether or not they apply for that authorization.
The Japanese government has conducted a survey on other countries' situations concerning the status of foreign schools and treatment of the qualification for entering a college or university, targeting 23 countries/regions including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India,Italy, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States(Released in July 1999). According to the results, there are a small number of countries that leave the eligibility of foreign school graduates to enter a higher educational institution to the discretion of the respective colleges and universities. However, most countries/regions do not institutionally recognize the qualification to enter a college or university in that country merely by the graduation from a foreign school. In most cases, the students are required to have a certain qualification such as the IB Diploma or to make a certain score on the nationwide standardized test of that country in addition to the graduation from a foreign school in order to acquire the qualification for entering a college or university. (See Annex 1)
- In relation to "the State party is recommended to....... ensure access to education in minority languages in public Japanese schools," in paragraph 16;
(1) It is not clear what kind of education is specifically intended by "education in minority languages" mentioned in the Committee's recommendation. While we believe there exist linguistic minorities in the respective State parties of the Convention, the Japanese government is not aware that many of these countries provide public education using only a minority language. Therefore, it is considered inadequate to state that Japanese public education is discriminatory merely for the reason that the government does not provide the entire public education only in a minority language.
(2) Secondly, with respect to guaranteeing the right to education stipulated in the Convention without distinction as to race, color, or national or ethnic origin, the Japanese government provides the children who use minority languages with the opportunity to enter public elementary and lower secondary schools to receive the same education as Japanese children, if so desired. Also, in such cases, best efforts are made so that the children who use minority languages can receive Japanese education smoothly by offering Japanese language lessons, support by teachers and even support by staff members who can speak their native language (minority language). For instance, staff members who speak Korean language and the teachers collaborate to provide Japanese language lessons and other supports to Korean children and students who do not have sufficient Japanese language skills in order to help them receive Japanese education smoothly.
(3) The Japanese government recognizes that the right to education stipulated in the Convention are already guaranteed in Japan through the efforts described above.
- In relation to "the Committee recommends the State party to take steps to further promote the rights of the Ainu, as indigenous people," in paragraph 17;
(1) As is incorporated in the Basic Policies on Measures for the Protection of the Ainu Culture and for the Dissemination and Advocacy for the Traditions of the Ainu and the Ainu Culture (Prime Minister's Office Announcement No. 25 of September 18, 1997), in Japan, the Ainu, who lived in Hokkaido before the arrival of Wajin at least at the end of medieval times, have been recognized as a race that has original traditions and that developed a unique culture including the Ainu language, which is based on a different linguistic system from the Japanese language, as well as original manners and customs.
(2) However, since there is no fixed international definition of the term "indigenous people," the question of whether the people of Ainu are actually "indigenous people" in the sense mentioned above needs to be examined carefully.
(3) At any rate, in order to smoothly promote the Utari welfare measures, which are implemented by the government of Hokkaido Prefecture for improving the social and economic status of the Ainu people, the Japanese government established the Joint Meeting of the Ministers concerned in the Hokkaido Utari Measures in May 1974 and has been striving to enhance the various measures while keeping close contact among the related ministries. In addition, the Japanese government is engaged in various schemes relating to the Ainu people, such as advancement of measures for promoting Ainu culture as well as disseminating knowledge and raising awareness of the Ainu tradition among the public, based on the Law for the Promotion of the Ainu Culture and for the Dissemination and Advocacy for the Traditions of the Ainu and the Ainu Culture (Law No. 52 of May 14, 1997) that was established for building a society in which the racial pride of the Ainu people is respected and having the Ainu culture and traditions contribute to development of diverse culture in Japan.
- In relation to "the State party is also encouraged to ratify and or use as guidance the ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples," in paragraph 17;
Since the ILO Convention includes many provisions other than the protection of workers which is mandated to the ILO and the Convention still includes provisions that conflict with Japan's legislation, the Japanese government abstained from the vote for adoption of the Convention at the International Labor Conference. The Convention is considered to include too many difficulties for Japan to ratify it immediately.
- In relation to "the Committee expresses its concern that authorities reportedly continue to urge applicants to make such changes and that Koreans feel obliged to do so for fear of discrimination," in paragraph 18;
(1) The Japanese government is aware that there is discrimination against Koreans residing in Japan, but it has been making continuous efforts to create a society free of discrimination through school education programs and various awareness raising activities.
(2) In the meantime, there is no fact that the authorities are urging Koreans applying for Japanese nationality to change their names to Japanese names, but instead, the authorities are extensively informing applicants that they can determine their names freely after naturalization.
- In relation to "the Committee is concerned that the national redress law offers remedies only on the basis of reciprocity, which is inconsistent with article 6 of the Convention," in paragraph 20;
(1) Japan's national redress law adopts reciprocity (Article 6 of the National Redress Law) based on the principle of sovereign equality of States in the international community, which is an internationally recognized principle.
In addition, if Japan acknowledges state tort liability regarding an injured foreign national when such liability is not at all acknowledged for Japanese nationals in the home country of the foreign national, it would unfairly discriminate against the Japanese people. Therefore, the current reciprocity can rather be considered to be virtually securing equality of Japanese and foreign nationals.
(2) Accordingly, no problems are expected to arise in relation to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination even if there are cases where the national redress law is not applicable to a foreign national, whose home country does not acknowledge state tort liability regarding Japanese nationals, based on the reciprocity in Article 6 of the law, as this Convention does not apply to distinctions based upon nationalities.
- In relation to "the State party is also invited to provide in its next report further information on the impact of (i) the 1997 Law for the Promotion of Measures for Human Rights Protection and the work and powers of the Council for Human Rights Promotion," in paragraph 23;
(1) The Law for the Promotion of Measures for Human Rights Protection stipulates, for the purpose of contributing to protection of human rights, the nation's obligations to develop educational and promotional measures to enhance public mutual understanding on the concept of respecting human rights, and to improve relief measures for the victims in cases of human right infringement. At the same time, the Law stipulates establishment of the Council for Human Rights Promotion in the Ministry of Justice designed for deliberating basic matters concerning these measures.
(2) At the first meeting, the Council was asked to advise on "basic matters concerning the comprehensive development of educational and promotional measures to enhance public mutual understanding of the concept of respect for human rights" (Item 1), by Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Minister of Pubic Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and on "basic matters regarding the improvement of relief measures for the victims in cases of human right" (Item 2) by Minister of Justice. The Council submitted a report on Item 1 in July 1999, and a report on the ideal human rights redress system regarding Item 2 in May 2001. The Council will further proceed to deliberating the ideal system of Human Rights Volunteers.
(3) The Japanese government intends to respect the Council's recommendations to the fullest and to endeavor set up the proposed human rights remedy system. Information on the implemented measures will be provided in Japan's next report.
- In relation to "the State party is also invited to provide in its next report further information on the impact of (iii) the Law Concerning Special Government Measures for Regional Improvement Special Projects and envisaged strategies to eliminate discrimination against Burakumin after the law ceases to apply, i.e. in 2002," in paragraph 23;
First of all, discrimination based on social origin is not covered under this Convention. In addition, the special measures limited to the Dowa district will be completed at the end of March 2002, and if any needs for additional measures would arise in and after April 2002, they will be dealt with by implementing required general measures in the same manner as for other areas.
- In relation to Paragraph 24,".... the Committee recommends that the possibility of such a declaration be considered."
(1) The Japanese government considers that the system of receiving communications from individuals or groups of individuals set forth in article 14 of the Convention is noteworthy in that it aims to effectively secure implementation of the Convention. However, concerns have been pointed out that it may cause problems in relation to Japanese judicial system, including the possibility that it may obstruct independence of judicial power, and the government is currently conducting serious and careful examination on these points. Thus, the Japanese government intends to be careful in determining whether or not to make the declaration, by taking these points into consideration.
(2) As for the problems that may occur in relation to Japanese judicial system, Japan adopts a three-instance trial system in order to conduct prudent examination, and provides the retrial system for filing appeals even after Judgement became final and binding. It also offers extraordinary relief procedures besides the system for filing appeals against decisions in the ordinary court procedures. Since Japanese judicial system is thus functioning sufficiently at present, there is a slight concern for the possibility that the declaration may confuse such domestic relief procedures.
- In relation to "the Committee recommends that the State party ratify the amendments to article 8, paragraph 6, of the Convention," in paragraph 25;
The Japanese government considers that obligations under the Convention are only binding upon the State parties in principle, so expenses relating to the Convention should be borne solely by the State parties, and the expenses should not be covered by the regular budget of the United Nations that is mainly financed by contributions from States including non-parties. Accordingly, it does not plan to ratify the said amendments at present.
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