(check against delivery)Mr. Chair,
The rule of law, good governance and a culture of lawfulness are essential elements of a prosperous human society. Japan is fully engaged to advance its crime prevention measures and criminal justice responses by improving its legal system.
I would like to begin by introducing some recent progress in my country.
In order to adequately address the current trends of sexual offenses, Japan 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. Through these amendments, the response to sexual offenses in Japan has been strengthened.
In terms of international collaboration, this summer, Japan became a party to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), its supplementary Protocols and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Taking into account that these international legal instruments play a central role in the fight against transnational organized crime including terrorism, and that Japan pursues a successful convening of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan will further strengthen international cooperation in this area by thoroughly implementing these international instruments.
Japan will proudly host the fourteenth UN Crime Congress in Kyoto also in 2020. In 1970, Kyoto was the first city outside Europe to hold the Congress. 2020 will be a notable year as it will mark the 50 years since Japan first hosted the conference.
The theme of the 2020 Congress is “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: Towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.” As the host country, Japan will accelerate preparations for the next Congress in collaboration with Member States, UNODC and other stakeholders.
The joint commitment adopted in April 2016 at the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem serves as a critical guiding principle to combat the world drug problem. Japan supports the principal role of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) as the policymaking body with prime responsibility for drug control issues and continues to contribute to international drug control by utilizing its knowledge and experiences.
Trafficking in persons is one of the most urgent subject matters to be addressed by the international community. Japan welcomes the successful conclusion earlier this week of the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. As the Security Council resolution 2331 adopted last year highlighted, trafficking in persons is used as a tactic for recruitment and fundraising by terrorist groups. The international community has the shared responsibility to eliminate this threat. In this regard, Japan considers it essential to build strong partnerships among relevant stakeholders to jointly tackle this crime.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate Japan’s commitment to continue its efforts to confront these crimes and to take an active role in international cooperation in this field.
I thank you.