Japan and South Korea will sign an extradition treaty Monday that they plan to put into force ahead of the World Cup soccer finals, which are to be jointly hosted by the two countries between late May and late June, government officials said Friday.
The decision was made at Monday’s Cabinet meeting, and the treaty will be signed by Justice Minister Mayumi Moriyama during her visit to South Korea beginning Sunday, the officials said.
The treaty, under which both nations will agree to hand over any of the other country’s nationals suspected of committing a crime, will mark the second such agreement for Japan since it signed an extradition treaty with the United States. That pact went into force in 1980.
The envisioned law stipulates that Japan and South Korea will in principle be obliged to extradite the other country’s nationals at the request of the other party for crimes that call for the death penalty, life imprisonment or detention of more than one year, based on respective domestic laws.
Political crimes will not be included in the treaty.
The two countries began talks in 1998 on the conclusion of an extradition treaty in light of the increasing number of South Koreans visiting Japan and Japanese visiting South Korea, facilitating the movement of criminals between the two nations.
Government sources said the two nations struck a basic agreement in working-level talks in January.
Japan may extradite its nationals to a country under the terms of an extradition treaty after a review by the Tokyo High Court and at the government’s discretion.
Justice Ministry officials said seven Japanese had so far been extradited to the U.S. under that treaty.
The World Cup is to run from May 31 to June 30 in Japan and South Korea.
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