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Amnesty is a measure to nullify punitive authority without trial, or to change or nullify contents or effects of trials. Japan has the following five types of amnesties: general amnesty, special amnesty, commutation of sentence, remission of execution of sentence, and restoration of rights.
Amnesties can be roughly divided into amnesties by Cabinet Order, which are implemented uniformly and individual pardons which are granted to specific persons based on individual examinations. Individual pardons can be further divided into routine pardons and pardons by special standards. Routine pardons are implemented at any time while pardons by special standards are implemented for a fixed period of time based on criteria decided by the cabinet.
The amnesties granted in 2005 were routine pardons only. In 2005, eight persons were granted remission of execution of sentence and 73 were granted restoration of rights (Source: Annual Report of Statistics on Rehabilitation).