White paper on crime 2010 Part2/Chapter5/Section4
Pardons are a measure used to nullify punitive authority without a trial, or changes or nullifies the content or effect of a trial. Japan has the following five types of pardons: general pardon, special pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of execution of the sentence, and restoration of rights.
Pardons can also be divided into pardons bestowed in a Cabinet Order (general pardon, commutation of sentence, and restoration of rights), which are implemented impartially, and pardons for specific persons (special pardon, commutation of sentence, remission of execution of the sentence, and restoration of rights), which are granted to specific persons based on an individual examination. Individual pardons can be further divided into routine pardons that can be implemented at any time and pardons bestowed using special standards that can be implemented for a fixed period of time and based on criteria decided by Cabinet.
In 2009 only routine pardons were granted, with six persons being granted remission of execution of the sentence and 35 restoration of rights (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Rehabilitation).