About Us

Introduction

In accordance with Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, the Fifth Periodic Report of the government of Japan was submitted in
December 2006. The Support Network for State Redress Lawsuits in Japan (hereinafter
referred to as “the SNSRL”), which is known as the Kokubai Network in Japanese, has
prepared this document as an NGO’s report to the government’s report, and respectfully
submits it here to the Human Rights Committee to provide full information about the
real human rights situation in Japan for the Committee’s fruitful consideration of the
government’s report.

The SNSRL would like to draw your attention to the two issues reported below
as the Human Rights Committee reviews in its 94th session. One is the issue that
evidence is not disclosed in criminal trials (related to Item 11 on the list of issues for
discussion in the current session of your Committee meetings), which is related to
Article 14 of the Covenant. The other is that no compensation is made to the victim of
unlawful arrest or detention, which is related to the Covenant Article 9, paragraph 5.

The SNSRL is one of NGOs working for securing human rights in Japan. The
network has been exchanging experiences and facilitating mutual assistance concerning
lawsuits for damage compensation and apology under the State Redress Law
concerning damage from unlawful execution of power by the state or local
governments. After experiencing frequent occurrences of false accusation cases around
1971, plaintiffs of lawsuits demanding compensation/consolation money after acquittal
established this network in 1989. For your reference, the State Redress Law was
enacted in 1946 under Article 17 of the Constitution of Japan.

While preparing the Fifth Periodic Report of the government of Japan, the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs approached some of such human rights NGOs for brief
hearings. At that time, the SNSRL explained the two issues mentioned above. We have
found, however, the Report does not reflect our observations. We would like to report
on these issues and point out where the governmental report is inadequate. What we
report in this document is just a small portion of the problems we see concerning the
state of human rights in Japan. Nonetheless, they represent essential aspects of the
matter that must not be overlooked in the effort toward the realization of fair trials and
to improve the human rights situation in Japan.