Friday, September 18, 2009


It looks like climate change isn't the only area where Japan’s change of government will make a real difference. The new government has appointed Keiko Chiba, a long-standing opponent of the death-penalty, as Justice Minister. While she is being circumspect, it is highly unlikely she will be signing any death warrants any time soon - meaning a de facto moratorium in Japan. Even better, she is now calling for a debate on abolition and replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment - a move which would leave the US isolated as the only industrialised democracy to retain the death penalty.

Japan isn't the only place where we're seeing progress. Serious moves towards abolition are now underway in Lebanon and Kenya. Hopefully both will be successful.