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Japan partially surrenders sovereignty in concluding visiting forces accord with Australia

  • April 13, 2022
  • , Asahi
  • JMH Summary

Asahi took up the reciprocal access agreement signed between Japan and Australia in January, claiming that Tokyo gave up part of its sovereignty because visiting Australian service members suspected of committing heinous crimes off duty in Japan will be tried in Australia. Due to Japan’s death penalty system, the provision was incorporated in the pact, which makes it easier for the nations’ military personnel to operate in each other’s country for training or disaster relief. Canberra abolished the death penalty in 1985. The accord stipulates that the custody of visiting Australian troops involved in crimes and accidents off duty will be transferred to the Japanese side even prior to indictment except in cases where the Australian side believes there is a “sufficient possibility” that the suspect would be sentenced to death if he or she were tried in Japan. The daily projected that the more heinous the crime is, the more likely it is that the Australian suspect will be able to escape Japan’s justice system on account of its death penalty.

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