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Justice Minister Shozaburo Nakamura said Tuesday he does not intend to abolish the death penalty or amend the Alien Registration Law to end a requirement that foreign permanent residents carry their alien registration card at all times, despite recommendations by a United Nations panel.

After reviewing the government’s report on human rights conditions in Japan, the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Committee, whose opinion is not legally binding, said the requirement for foreign permanent residents to carry the card is discriminatory. This was among recommendations the panel adopted Friday.

In a regular news conference Tuesday, Nakamura expressed resistance to eliminating the practice, saying it is “a minimum necessity” so the government can distinguish between foreigners and Japanese.

On the committee’s conclusion that Japan’s requirement that foreign residents obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the country may violate resident Koreans’ rights to travel, the minister also said he will not eliminate the requirement.

Nakamura added that he does not intend to seek the abolition of the death penalty.

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