Practice Relating to Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment
In 2007, in its initial report to the Committee against Torture, Japan stated:
Article 36 of the Constitution absolutely prohibits the infliction of torture by any public official and cruel punishment, and there is no domestic law that allows anyone to invoke, as a justification of torture, exceptional circumstances such as a state of war, a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency.
The report also states:
Article 53 of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act [paragraph 1] stipulates that any person subject to deportation shall be deported to a country of which he is a national or citizen. Paragraph 2 of that Article stipulates that, if a person cannot be deported to such a country as provided for in paragraph 1, such person shall be deported to one of the following countries in accordance with his wishes: … Therefore, when it is judged that there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture in the country provided for in paragraph 1 of that Article, his case would fall under the provision of paragraph 2 of that Article where the “person cannot be deported” and therefore he will be deported, in accordance with his wishes, to any one of the countries provided for in paragraph 2.
The report further states:
Any person who commits an act of torture, including an attempt to commit torture, an act which constitutes complicity or participation in torture, is punishable under the Penal Code and other criminal laws for various offences and their complicity … including violence and cruelty by a special public official or causing death or injury thereby … and depending on the kinds of acts, abuse of authority by a public official, violence, injury, abandonment, arrest, detention, intimidation, and murder, forcible obscenity, rape, coercion and attempts thereof. These offences punish a wider range of acts of torture in that they do not require as their constituent element the “purposes” or “reason” referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 1 of the Convention [against Torture]. In this regard, it can be said that a wider range of acts of torture is punishable.
In 2007, in its fifth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Japan stated: “In the Japanese legal system torture is strictly prohibited.”