Since 2008, the EU and Council of Europe have observed 10 October as World Day against the Death Penalty. The EU considers the death penalty a violation of human dignity. It does not deter violent crime. Any capital punishment that results from a miscarriage of justice represents an irreversible loss of life. On this date we reaffirm our commitment to its universal abolition.
We are not alone. The global trend is towards abolition: more than two-thirds of the countries around the world have formally abolished capital punishment or have stopped applying it. Even in countries that retain the death penalty the total number of executions is falling. The UN General Assembly has passed a series of resolutions calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a first step towards abolition.
Against such a backdrop, the EU deeply regrets that seven death row inmates have been executed in Japan this year. This is especially worrying as it comes after an almost two-year period during which no executions took place. We urge Japan to consider seriously an immediate moratorium on executions to allow a comprehensive public debate on this issue.
The EU and Japan are like-minded partners with shared democratic values. We work closely with Japan on many shared challenges including energy security, climate change and international development cooperation. All our governments are committed to deepening and strengthening our relationship with Japan, a leader in so many fields and a respected member of the international community. It is our sincere desire to see Japan join the growing community of nations which have ceased to apply the death penalty.
H.E. Mr. Paul Steinmetz (Luxembourg)
H.E. Sir David Warren (United Kingdom)
H.E. Mr. Vincenzo Petrone (Italy)
H.E. Mr. Drahomir Stos (Slovakia)
H.E. Mr. Nikolaos Tsamados (Greece)
H.E. Mr. Jari Ģustafsson (Finland)
H.E. Dr. Volker Stanzel (Germany)
H.E. Mr. Toivo Tasa (Estonia)
H.E. Mr. John Neary (Ireland)
H.E. Ms Katerina Fialkova (Czech Republic)
H.E. Ms Helena Drnovsek Zorko (Slovenia)
H.E. Mr. Miguel Angel Navarro Portera (Spain)
H.E. Mr. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut (EU)
H.E. Mr. Luc Liebaut (Belgium)
H.E. Mr. José de Freitas Ferraz (Portugal)
H.E. Mr. A. Carsten Damsgaard (Denmark)
H.E. Dr. Lars Vargö (Sweden)
H.E. Dr. István Szerdahelyi (Hungary)
H.E. Mr. Christian Masset (France)
H.E. Dr. Radu Şerban (Romania)
H.E. Mr. Cyryl Kozaczewski (Poland)
H.E. Dr. Bernhard Zimburg (Austria)
H.E. Mr. Radinck J. van Vollenhoven (The Netherlands)
H.E. Dr. Algirdas Dambrauskas (Lithuania)
H.E. Ms Youliana Antonova (Bulgaria)
H.E. Ms Mira Martinec (Croatia)
H.E. Ms Ioanna Malliotis (Cyprus)
H.E. Mr. Joseph Cassar (Malta)
H.E. Mr. Arne Walther (Norway)