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2 Extradition of fugitive offenders
(1) International cooperation for extradition
Upon receiving a request for extradition from a foreign country, Japan may accept the request in accordance with the requirements and procedures provided in the Law of Extradition (Law No. 68 of 1953) under the guarantee of reciprocity, even in the case where Japan has not concluded an extradition treaty with the foreign country. Thus, Japan is able to provide guarantee of reciprocity for extradition to foreign countries as well as to receive fugitive offenders extradited from foreign countries. However, some countries require a concluded extradition treaty as a prerequisite for extradition. Among these countries, some have abolished this policy that would hinder extradition, in response to the current demands from the international community in which extradition is an important issue of international cooperation in criminal justice, whereas others conclude bilateral extradition treaties with many countries while maintaining such policy. Under the multilateral treaties adopted recently, the Contracting States are required to criminalize certain acts as offenses, and to establish jurisdictions and apply extradition to such offenses so as to prevent offenders from escaping from criminal proceedings, accepting the differences in the domestic systems. These treaties also require the Contracting States either to extradite the offender to the country concerned or to refer the case to their competent authorities. Thus, these treaties aim to further promote international cooperation among the Contracting States.
In 1978, Japan and the United States signed the Agreement on Extradition between Japan and the U.S.A. and Related Instruments Thereof, and the agreement came into force in March 1980. Japan also signed the Treaty on Extradition between Japan and the Republic of Korea with South Korea in April 2002, and the treaty came into force in June 2002. These treaties require both parties to mutually extradite offenders under certain requirements. Furthermore, these treaties allow the requested party to exercise its own discretion in extraditing its nationals, which is in principle prohibited under ordinary extradition treaties, thereby reinforcing cooperation between the Contracting parties.
(2) Request from Japan to foreign countries for extradition of offenders
When Japan makes an extradition request to a foreign country with which it has not concluded an extradition treaty, it complies with the requirements and procedures provided under the domestic laws of the foreign country. In order to arrest a fugitive offender, Japan makes an extradition request to the foreign country through diplomatic channels. Either the public prosecutors office or the police etc. may make such a request, and the request shall be sent to the foreign country concerned via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. It may also be possible to arrest a fugitive offender in the case where the offender voluntarily returns to Japan or is deported from the foreign country.
Table 2-6-2-4 shows the number of fugitive offenders extradited from foreign countries to Japan over the last 10 years. 2 offenders in 2 cases were extradited from the United States in 1993, 1 offender in 1 case from Brazil in 1994, 1 offender in 1 case from Thailand in 2000, and 1 offender in 1 case from the United States in 2002 (Source: Data by Criminal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Justice, and International Department, Director-General's Secretariat, National Police Agency).
(3) Request from foreign countries to Japan for extradition of offenders
Table 2-6-2-4 also shows the number of fugitive offenders extradited from Japan to foreign countries over the last 10 years. In 2002, Japan received 1 extradition request for 1 offender in 1 case from the United States and 1 extradition request for 2 offenders in 1 case from Panama, and extradited the requested offenders by the end of the year (Source: Data by Criminal Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Justice).
Table 2-6-2-4 Number of fugitive offenders extradited (1993-2002)