II. Information on Individual Articles of The Covenant

Article 15

As is stated in the Third Periodic Report, Article 31 of the Constitution provides that criminal penalty shall be imposed only in accordance with the procedure established by law, while Article 39 prohibits ex post facto law. Thus, the right referred to in Article 15 of the Covenant is guaranteed.

Article 16

As is stated in the Third Periodic Report, the Constitution provides that people shall be respected as individuals (Article 13), that people shall enjoy fundamental human rights (Article 11), that the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be respected (Article 13) and that no person shall be denied the right of access to the court (Article 32). Thus, the rights of individuals are ultimately guaranteed by judicial remedies.

Article 17

Regulations and Situations pertaining to various Wire Tapping

The secretary of communication and personal information is guaranteed in Japan by the " Radio Wave Law" , the " Wire Telecommunications Law" and the " Telecommunications Business Law" , as has already been stated in the Third Periodic Report. The police works to crack down on crimes, which invade the secrecy of communication and personal information.

Wire tapping is prohibited under Article 104 of the " Telecommunications Business Law" and Article 14 of the " Wire Telecommunications Law" . Offenders are subject to criminal prosecution and punishment.

Situation pertaining to the Protection of Personal Data held by Administrative Organs

As is stated in the Third Periodic Report, in recent times the " right of portrait" and the right to non-disclosure of past events, which may injure the honor and reputation of persons, have been considered to be protected under the law under the name of the " right to privacy" . These rights are recognized as human rights guaranteed by Article 13 of the Constitution.

The Government has responded to these developments and the progress in the processing of personal data by computer in recent years. Furthermore, as is stated in the Third Periodic Report, Japan enacted " The Act for Protection of Computer Processed Personal Data held by Administrative Organs" , in which the basic procedures relevant to the treatment computer-processed personal data are stipulated. Any person is entitled to request disclosure of data pertaining to himself/herself. Any person may also apply for corrections and so on.

Article 18

Report on Amendments in the Religious Juridical Persons Law

The " Religious Juridical Persons Law" took effect in 1951. This Law aimed at conferring juridical personality to religious organizations, thus allowing them to secure a material basis to conduct their free and autonomous activities, based on the principles of the guarantee of freedom of religion and the separation of church and state as provided in the Constitution. The Law does not aim at overseeing religious organizations or to regulate their religious activities.

The " Religious Juridical Persons Law" was enacted in light of the social conditions of its time. Because facets of the law became unable to respond appropriately to subsequent changes in social conditions and the actual state of religious juridical persons, Japan amended the Law as follows in 1995, to the minimum degree necessary. The purpose of this amendments is to better respond to these areas, while still upholding the purposes of the law itself. The amendments do not enable the competent authorities to interfere or intervene in the religious activities of religious juridical persons, nor to control or oversee religious juridical persons.

(a) To respond appropriately to religious juridical persons, which are active over a broad area, the Minister of Education has been assigned as the competent authority of religious juridical persons, which possesses religious buildings in plural prefectures.

(b) To enable the competent authorities to constantly affirm that religious juridical persons act in accordance with their inherent purposes, the documents, which are designated for keeping at the principal offices of religious juridical persons, have been taken under review. Furthermore, it has been made mandatory for them to submit copies of financially relevant documents, which include investigations and cash-flow statements to the competent authorities.

(c) To contribute to more democratic and transparent management of religious juridical persons, some of their followers and other persons with vested interest have been allowed to access the above-mentioned documents kept at their offices.

(d) To clarify the procedures by which the competent authorities may exercise their jurisdiction, in cases, which are recognized as befitting of this, such as when seeking a dissolution order from the courts, they may demand reports from or make inquiries into the religious juridical persons.

Needless to say, every individual and group can conduct religious activities freely without establishing juridical persons under the freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Constitution.

Measures to Prevent Discrimination against Labourers Based on Thought or Creed

Article 3 of the " Labour Standards Law" forbids employers from practicing any discriminatory treatment against workers, in terms of wages, work hours or other labour conditions, because of the worker 's creed.

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