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U.S. Statement at the UPR of Japan
October 31, 2012

U.S. Statement at the UPR of Japan
14th Session – October 31, 2012

Note: An abbreviated version of this text was delivered at the Universal Periodic Review due to time constraints

The United States welcomes H.E. Hideaki Ueda and the delegation of the Government of Japan to the UPR working group.

We commend Japan for its work to promote human rights, both domestically and internationally.  We are aware of the challenges that the country has faced following the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami, and we commend Japan’s efforts to protect human rights during the reconstruction process. We look forward to continued cooperation with the Government of Japan in our mutual efforts to advance human rights.

We applaud Japan’s efforts to reduce discrimination against women, LGBT persons, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, and foreigners, but we remain concerned that some legislative gaps remain that allow discrimination against members of some populations to continue.  In particular, we remain concerned with the need for comprehensive and effective  legislation providing protection for persons with disabilities that  adequately defines and prohibits discrimination and provides for effective judicial remedies in cases of discrimination.  We are also concerned that there is no comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation protecting the human rights of LGBT persons.

We would also like to express concern over prison conditions, where inadequate heating subjects inmates to preventable cold injuries.  In addition, NGOs and foreign diplomats have reported that some prison facilities continue to provide inadequate food and medical care.

Bearing in mind these concerns, the United States makes the following recommendations:

  1. Lobby for and implement a comprehensive anti-discrimination law that provides effective protection against discrimination against persons with disabilities.
  2. Lobby for and implement comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation to provide protection for the rights of LGBT persons.
  3. Improve prison conditions to bring them in line with international standards and guidelines for the treatment of prisoners by providing warmer clothes to prisoners in the winter, providing foreign prisoners with timely medical and dental treatment, and increasing the amount and nutritional quality of the food.