- A request from a foreign country to Japan for an extradition of a fugitive is processed in accordance with the Act of Extradition (Law No. 68 of 1953).
- When there is an extradition treaty between the requesting country and Japan, Japan will extradite the fugitive as a matter of legal obligation under the treaty, subject to applicable restrictions provided for by the treaty and its domestic laws.
>> As of December 2013, Japan has entered into extradition treaties with the United States of America and the Republic of Korea.
- A request for extradition is to be made in writing via diplomatic channels, and addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
- Unless any of the following issues exists, the Minister for Foreign Affairs shall forward the request to the Minister of Justice;
1. The request was made based on a treaty (bilateral/multilateral) but is not fulfilling the formality established by the treaty.
2. The request does not have basis on a treaty and has no guarantee of reciprocity.
- Unless any of the refusal grounds set forth in the Act of Extradition exists, the Minister of Justice shall order the Superintending Prosecutor of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office to apply to the Tokyo High Court for examination of whether the fugitive can be extradited.
- When the Tokyo High Court rules that the fugitive can be extradited, the Minister of Justice will make the final determination as to whether the extradition is appropriate. When the Minister finds the extradition to be appropriate, the Minister shall order the Superintending Prosecutor of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office to extradite the fugitive, who will then be extradited within thirty days from the day after the Minister's order.
Refusal grounds of extradition
- The Article 2 of the Act of Extradition stipulates refusal grounds of extradition:
- When the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.
- When the extradition request is deemed to have been made with a view to trying or punishing the fugitive for a political offense which he/she has committed.
- Unless provided otherwise by an extradition treaty, when the act constituting the offense for extradition is not punishable by death, life imprisonment or imprisonment of no less than three years according to the laws and regulations of both the requesting and receiving country.
- When it is deemed that the act that constitutes the requested offense was committed in Japan or the trial for the offense was held in Japan, but the imposition or the execution of punishment on the fugitive for the requested offense would be barred under the laws and regulations of Japan.
* dual criminality in extradition context will be considered as “concrete dual criminality ”by which, we would require the alleged offence to be punishable under the applicable laws of Japan if the offence took place within the jurisdiction of Japan. Hence, the assessment takes into consideration of such factors that would block the conviction such as “self defense” or ”statute of limitation
- Except in the case of a fugitive who was convicted in the requesting country for the requested offense, when there is no probable cause to suspect that the fugitive committed the act constituting the requested offense.
- When the criminal case for the offense for which extradition is requested is pending before a court of Japan, or when a judgment in such case has become final.
- Unless provided otherwise by an extradition treaty, when a criminal case for the offense committed by the fugitive other than the offense for which extradition is requested is pending before a court of Japan, or when the fugitive has been sentenced to punishment by a court of Japan for such an offense and has not completed serving the sentence or the sentence is still enforceable.
- Unless provided otherwise by an extradition treaty, when the fugitive is a Japanese national.
- Please keep in mind the following points when your country makes the request for extradition to Japan.
- If the request is not based on a treaty, the guarantee of reciprocity needs to be clearly demonstrated in the Note Verbale.
- In the Letter of Request, the following information should be clearly given: the name of the suspect or defendant, a description of the facts constituting the offense for which the extradition is requested, the provisions of the offense and other relevant laws and the non-applicability of the above restrictions.
- The Letter of Request and to the supplemental documents need to be translated into Japanese.
- For futher information;