(Please check against delivery)Mr. Chair,
Protecting universal values such as human rights and fundamental freedoms is the common responsibility of all nations and Japan has implemented this principle faithfully.
Japan has been contributing to solving and improving human rights issues in the international community through multilateral fora and bilateral dialogue. My country is determined to continue these to protect and promote human rights around the world.
Strengthening and improving the effectiveness of the human rights treaty bodies is essential to promote human rights. In light of the spirit of Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, it is important that the human rights mechanisms, including the treaty bodies, Universal Periodic Review and the Special Procedures, are better coordinated and streamlined to avoid duplications. We expect advanced efficiency to be achieved by various measures such as a simplified reporting procedure, adjustment of theme and restraint of prolonged sessions.
According to the Secretary-General’s report submitted last year, all treaty bodies fully comply with the word limits established by General Assembly Resolution 68/268 and, in the five-year period from 2011 to 2015, 83 states parties submitted a common core document. Japan highly appreciates the tireless efforts of the committees.
The Universal Periodic Review is an important function of the Human Rights Council to protect and promote human rights through dialogue and cooperation with each country.
Japan will have its third UPR in November. We submitted our report to OHCHR this August and look forward to a constructive dialogue during the review.
Examination of a state party’s report by the human rights treaty bodies also plays an important role in securing the implementation of human rights treaties.
Last year, Japan’s combined seventh and eighth periodic reports were considered by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Japanese delegation itself engaged in a constructive and productive dialogue with the Committee.
Japan also submitted periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Committee on the Rights on the Child and the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. We are eager to have valuable discussions in the examination process of our reports.
Let me introduce an example of Japan’s engagement to follow-up on the recommendations from the committees. After receiving recommendations from the UPR and CEDAW, the Government of Japan, in order to adequately address the current trends of sexual offenses, amended its Penal Code to expand the acts that constitute rape, increased minimum punishments and removed provisions that require a formal complaint from the victim for prosecution of the offender.
In conclusion, let me reiterate that Japan will continue to protect and promote human rights domestically and internationally through cooperation with all partners including the United Nations.
I thank you.