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UN human rights expert to assess freedom of expression situation in Japan


GENEVA (8 April 2016) – United Nations Special Rapporteur expert David Kaye will carry out his first visit to Japan, from 12 to 19 April 2016, to assess the situation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in the country.

“I look forward to visiting Japan and learning at first-hand about its norms and policies in the area of freedom of expression as well as the main challenges faced in the country today,” said the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

“The independence and the freedom of the Japanese media, the space for protesting and the access of the public to information held by the State are among the issues I will study during my stay in Japan,” he noted.

Mr. Kaye, who visits the country at the invitation of the Japanese Government, will meet with multiple authorities from the legislative, executive and judicial powers. He will also hold discussions with non-governmental organizations, journalists and the media. The visit was originally planned for December last year, but rescheduled after a request from the Japanese authorities.

The Special Rapporteur will prepare a report on the main findings of his visit and make recommendations on the promotion of the right to freedom of expression in Japan.

The human rights expert will host a press conference to share his preliminary conclusions and observations on his visit to Japan on Tuesday 19 April 2016 at 12:00 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Yurakucho Denki North Building 20F, Yurakucho 1-7-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, . Access to the press conference will be limited to journalists.

Mr. David Kaye (USA) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in August 2014 by the UN Human Rights Council. He teaches international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and directs a clinic in international justice at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. His research and writing focus on accountability for serious human rights abuses and the law governing use of force. He has collaborated with local and national governments, major international NGOs as well as those at the grassroots, international organizations, and academic institutions around the world.  Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/FreedomOpinion/Pages/OpinionIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Japan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/JPIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Tokyo (during the visit): Mr. Marcelo Daher: (+41 79 109 6873 / mdaher@ohchr.org)

In Geneva (before and after the visit): Mr. Marcelo Daher (+41 22 917 9431 / mdaher@ohchr.org), Ms. Victoria Kuhn (+41 22 917 9278 / vkuhn@ohchr.org) or write to freedex@ohchr.org.

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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