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On April 16, in Brasilia, the Federal Police of Brazil and the National Police Agency of Japan signed an agreement to cooperate in investigations. Both countries have reasons to celebrate, as our law enforcement agencies will, from now on, be able to further cooperate to better fight crime.

Impunity must be fought in every way we can. To respect a country’s law is the duty of every citizen, national or foreigner. Those accused of committing crimes — in Japan or in Brazil — must face trial. Good examples of the commitment of the Brazilian government to combat impunity are the cases of two Brazilian citizens, accused of committing crimes in Japan and then returning to Brazil. The first is now facing trial in Brazil, accused of a fatal hit and run, and the second is presently in prison in Brazil, accused of murder. Good coordination between Brazilian and Japanese law enforcement authorities was instrumental for achieving such results.

Important steps have been taken but we still have a long way to go. In 2003, Brazil presented to Japanese authorities the proposal to initiate negotiations of bilateral treaties in five different fields: social security, judicial cooperation on civil matters, judicial cooperation on penal matters, extradition and transfer of prisoners. Unfortunately, so far, these negotiations have not yet progressed. I am confident though, that the proximity of the commemoration of 100 years of Japanese immigration to Brazil will bring these matters into the center of attention.

These agreements would be most useful to better protect both Brazilian and Japanese citizens. The prestigious Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) in a report published in November, also points out that Brazil and Japan should sign an agreement on social security, as it could be beneficial for Japanese companies and Japanese citizens living in Brazil.

With treaties such as these, our countries — and our societies — have a lot to gain and nothing to lose.

andre amado

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