Extradition between Germany
and Japan

Extradition between Germany and Japan
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Extradition to a third country does not only entail the risk of deprivation of liberty for the persons concerned. In some cases, they also have to fear for their physical integrity, even for their lives. Therefore, extradition proceedings are usually not only an emotional burden for the persons concerned but also a considerable legal challenge.

Schlun & Elseven is an internationally active law firm specialising, among other things, in representing clients in extradition proceedings. Our extradition lawyers have the necessary expertise and years of experience in dealing with Interpol and the extradition authorities to represent you with competence and commitment during this difficult time. We not only represent clients who are to be extradited from or to Germany. We also take care of the cancellation of Interpol Red Notices, regardless of which country initiated them.

Extraditions between Japan and Germany are based on the respective general laws. Non-contractual extraditions in Germany are governed by the IRG, the Law on International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

In recent years, extradition requests between Japan and Germany have been rare. In 2021, one request to Germany was rejected.

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Extradition of German Citizens to Japan

The constitution protects German citizens against extradition to so-called third countries, Article 16 (2) GG. Third countries are countries that do not belong to the European Union.

Extradition of non-German EU Citizens to Japan

Non-German EU citizens can be extradited from Germany to Japan. The ECJ ruled that this does not violate the general prohibition of discrimination under Article 18 TFEU or the free movement of persons within the EU under Article 21 TFEU. The Member State to which the person concerned belongs has a priority right to transfer and must therefore be informed before extraditions take place.

Removal of a Red Notice from Japan – worldwide

If Japan requests a person’s apprehension and subsequent extradition, the Japanese authorities can obtain an Interpol Red Notice for this person. Such a red notice can be challenged as a precautionary measure or only when it becomes known. Our experienced lawyers for extradition law will submit requests for information to the respective National Central Bureaus (NCBs) of Interpol on your behalf, prepare and file corresponding protective letters and work unerringly towards the cancellation of the Red Notice – so that you can once again move freely in the world without worrying about an immanent arrest and the associated consequences and risks.

Extradition Requirements under the IRG

In principle, every foreigner can be extradited to the country where they have committed a punishable act, Section 2 (3) IRG.

For extradition to be lawful, the act committed must also be punishable in Germany and by a maximum of at least one year’s imprisonment, Section 3 IRG.

A request is rejected as inadmissible if the motives are political, personal, or military, Sections 6 and 7 IRG. If the person concerned is subjected to aggravated treatment due to political or personal characteristics, an extradition request is also to be rejected as inadmissible.

After transfer, the person concerned may only be punished for the offences mentioned in the request by the principle of speciality, Section 11 IRG. For possible further extradition, transfer, or deportation to a third state, the requesting state must obtain the consent of the requested state.

Potential problems of extradition to Japan

Death Penalty:

Section 8 IRG prohibits extraditions if the person concerned is threatened with death in the requesting state. If the offence in question is punishable by death, the requesting state may give an assurance that it will not carry out the death penalty. Extraditions may be made if the death penalty is provided for by law but is not carried out.

In Japan, the death penalty is still active and continues to be carried out. According to official reports, three executions were carried out in 2021.

Human and civil rights:

According to Article 3 ECHR, no one may be subjected to torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment. If the person concerned is threatened with such ill-treatment, they may not be extradited.

Prisons in Japan are said to have strict rules of conduct. The rule not to speak is used as a means of coercion against the detainees. Solitary confinement is imposed for long periods in relation to European standards.

If a prisoner is sentenced to death, they are often not informed until the same day, according to Human Rights Watch. Moreover, the death penalty can be applied immediately after the sentence is imposed.

Country List for Extradition – Worldwide

  • Worldwide advice and representation in extradition and Interpol proceedings with and without reference to Germany

  • Encrypted communication and secure file transfer

  • Worldwide network of experts in international extradition law

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