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1 United Nations
The United Nations (hereinafter referred to as the "U.N.") takes various actions with the aim of reducing losses in human resources and materials due to crimes and their impact on social and economic development, as well as promoting the implementation of U.N. standards and provisions on criminal justice.
The U.N. Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders was approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 1950 as an international congress for proposing policies and exchanging opinions in various fields of criminal justice. Since the First Congress held in 1955, congresses have been held every 5 years and the 10th Congress was held in Vienna in April 2000. A number of standards and rules on criminal justice that were adopted at the Congresses, such as the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (First Congress in 1955) and the Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (Eighth Congress in 1990), were also adopted or approved by the U.N. General Assembly and U.N. Economic and Social Council, and implementation of such standards and rules is promoted in various countries.
As a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice was established in 1992 and it held its 12th meeting in Vienna in 2003. The Commission is engaged in formulating policies at the U.N. in the field of criminal justice. Japan has been elected as a member of the Commission and has participated in its activities since its foundation.
As for measures against drugs such as narcotics, multilateral treaties have been adopted by the U.N. such as the U.N. Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in 1988. Japan has ratified these treaties and developed corresponding domestic laws.
As for measures against transnational organized crime, following the discussions after the ministerial-level conference on transnational organized crime in 1994, the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2000. This Convention criminalizes conspiracy to commit serious crimes, participation in an organized crime group, money laundering, and bribery and corruption, and also provides for confiscation of crime proceeds and international cooperation to that end, extradition of offenders involved in organized crime, and protection of witnesses. Japan signed the Convention in 2000. The "Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children," the "Protocol Against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air," and the "Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Tracking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition," which supplement the Convention, were also adopted by the U.N. General Assembly by 2001, and Japan also signed these protocols in December 2002.
As for measures against crimes involving women and children, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1989 and Japan ratified this convention in 1994 under the approval of the Diet. In 2000, the "Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child ((i) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and (ii) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict)" were also adopted by the U.N. General Assembly. Japan signed these protocols in May 2002.
As for measures against international bribery and corruption, the U.N. is currently discussing the issue of recovery of the proceeds of corruption to the country from which the proceeds originate and is working on development of a convention against corruption as a U.N. document with the aim of adopting a convention by the end of 2003.
As for measures against terrorism, multilateral treaties on international cooperation in anti-hijacking measures were developed under the initiative of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the 1960s. In the 1970s, the "Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents" and the "International Convention against the Taking of Hostages" were adopted by the U.N. Japan concluded these conventions in 1987. Due to the frequent occurrence of heinous terrorist attacks since the beginning of the 1990s, the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism was adopted by the U.N., and the U.N. Ad Hoc Committee started designing the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. In 1997, the
International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, and Japan signed this convention in 1998. Following the simultaneous terrorist attacks in the United States in September 2001, for securing the implementation of the convention, the "Law Concerning Development of Related Laws Upon Conclusion of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing" (Law No. 121 of 2001) was enacted. Having obtained the approval of the Diet, Japan deposited an instrument of acceptance to conclude the Convention in November 2001. The Convention came into force in Japan in December 2001.
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (Convention against Terrorism Financing) was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1999. After the simultaneous terrorist attacks in September 2001 in the United States, the resolutions on criminalizing the financing of terrorism, freezing terrorist assets, and promoting the conclusion of terrorism-related conventions such as the Convention against Terrorism Financing were adopted by the U.N. Security Council, and U.N. Member States are obliged to implement the resolutions accordingly. Japan signed the Convention against Terrorism Financing in October 2001, and domestic laws for securing the implementation of the convention, the "Law on Customer Identification and Retention of Records on Transactions by Financial Institutions (Law No. 32 of 2002)" and the "Law Concerning Punishments of Financing of Criminal Acts for the Purpose of Threatening the Public, etc. (Law No. 67 of 2002)" were enacted. Having obtained the approval of the Diet, Japan disposed an instrument of acceptance to conclude the Convention in June 2002. The Convention came into force in Japan in July 2002.