• Kyodo


The Council of Europe decided Tuesday to present a report later this month asking Japan and the United States to stay the executions of prisoners by 2003.

Abolition of the death penalty is one of the membership conditions of the Strasbourg-based council, which has 43 member states. The report will be submitted to the council’s regular parliamentary assembly session, due to start June 25.

According to French public radio, Renate Wohlwend of Liechtenstein, who drew up the report, said the council hopes Japan and the U.S. will take note of Europe’s message, suggesting their observer status will also be discussed at the session. However, she added the council does not have binding power over the criminal justice systems of the two countries.

The report analyzes the current status of the death penalty based on reports drawn up by missions to both Japan and the U.S. and incorporates world opinion on the system.

Last year, three people were executed in Japan and 85 in the U.S., according to the report.

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