Death Penalty in Japan: Principles and Practice


Death Penalty in Japan: Principles and Practice

Lecture Theatre
Law Institute of Victoria
470 Bourke St, Melbourne


More information

T: 8344 6847

This seminar will focus on why Japan retains capital punishment, how this institution of state killing has changed in recent years, and why there are conspicuous continuities in Japan’s death penalty policy and practice. Four causes of continuity will be stressed: the rarity of exonerations in Japanese criminal justice; a jurisprudence that does not treat death as a different criminal punishment requiring special procedures and safeguards for capital defendants; a high degree of secrecy surrounding executions and death sentencing; and a society in which race and class are not considered salient factors in the administration of capital punishment. Reform in Japanese capital punishment could progress by challenging these causes of continuity.

Dr Tagusari will provide special commentary from her perspective as a lawyer who has represented death row inmates and as founder of the Center for Prisoners’ Rights Japan.


  • Dr Maiko Tagusari
    Dr Maiko Tagusari, Adjunct Lecturer of Law
  • Professor David  T. Johnson
    Professor David T. Johnson, Professor of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Law