The European Union called on Japan on Monday to abolish the death penalty, saying "it is a key priority of our external human rights policy" to work toward its universal elimination to protect human dignity.
"As friends, we have an obligation to speak up. Application of the death penalty in Japan, in the 21st century, is running against the global trend," said Francesco Fini, EU Delegation minister to Japan. "We hope that Japan will finally join the big and growing family of countries without the death penalty."
He made the comments in a speech at a Tokyo symposium on capital punishment sponsored by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.