Overview of the Death Penalty in Japan – CrimeInfo’s Reports Submitted to the United Nations

Submission to Secretary-General; 
Report on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty:
the death penalty in Japan (22 April 2022)

・Number of persons on death row
・Number of death sentences issued annually
・Number of executions carried out annually
・Number of death sentences reversed or commuted on appeal
・Number of amnesties, commutations, or pardons granted
・Restrictions on the use of the death penalty, and safeguards protecting the rights of those facing the death penalty
・Treatment on death row
・Moratorium on executions

Submission to Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; 
Imposition of the death penalty and its impact: Japan   (29 April 2022)

1. Individuals sentenced to death
2. Family members
3. Other individuals
4. Lead-up to execution
5. Methods of execution
6. Treatment of bodies of the executed

Offenses Punishable by Death

  1. Ringleadership of insurrection (Penal Code, art. 77, para. 1. Item 1)
  2. Inducement of foreign aggression (Penal Code, art. 81)
  3. Participation in foreign military force against Japan (Penal Code, art. 82)
  4. Arson to inhabited structure, etc. (Penal Code, art. 108)
  5. Destruction by explosives (Penal Code, art. 117, para. 1)
  6. Damage to inhabited structure, etc. by inundation (Penal Code, art. 119)
  7. Overturn of a railroad train etc. resulting in in death (Penal Code, art. 126, para. 3)
  8. Endangerment of traffic resulting in death (Penal Code, art. 127, art. 125)
  9. Addition of poisonous material into water main resulting in death (Penal Code, art. 146 latter part)
  10. Homicide (Penal Code, art. 199)
  11. Robbery resulting in death (including murder on the occasion of the robbery) (Penal Code, art. 240 latter part)
  12. Rape and robbery resulting in death (Penal Code, art. 241, para. 3 )
  13. Illegal use of explosives (Explosives Control Act, art. 1)
  14. Duel and homicide (Law Concerning Duel Crime, art. 3; Penal Code, art. 199)
  15. Causing aircraft crash, etc. resulting in death (Law Concerning the Punishment for Acts to Cause Aviation Danger, art. 2, para. 3)
  16. Seizure of aircraft, etc. resulting in death (Law for Punishing the Seizure of Aircraft and Other Related Crimes, art. 2)
  17. Homicide of hostage (Law Concerning the Punishment of Compulsion and Other Related Acts Committed by Those Having Taken Hostages, art. 4, para. 1)
  18. Homicide committed as organized crime (Law Concerning Punishment of Organized Crime, Control of Crime Proceeds and Other Matters, art. 3, para. 1, Item 7. para. 2; Penal Code, art. 199)
  19. Piracy resulting in death (Law on Punishment of and Measures against Acts of Piracy, art. 4) 


Statistics      Last Updated: 24 Dec 2023

  1. Number of executions (since 1882) 
  2. Number of death sentences (since 1946) 
  3. Number of death sentences in High Courts (Since 1956) 
  4. Number of death sentences in Supreme court (Since 1956) 
  5. Number of death sentences and life imprisonment sentences by trial level (Since 1957) 
  6. Number of inmates whose death sentences have been confirmed (Since 1950) 
  7. New and confirmed life sentences (Since 1945) 
  8. Length of stay in prison for parolees serving life sentences (Since 1966) 
  9. Number of fatalities of criminal offenses, of reported homicides, and of arrests for homicide (Since 1945) 
  10. Homicide: Number of persons prosecuted and not prosecuted (Since 1946) 
  11. Number of convictions of homicide-related offences in trial courts (Since 1945) 
  12. Incidents in Penal Institutions (Since 1952)