Date of the report
Author(s)Center for Prisoners’ rights / Pr Akaike (Univ. of Kyoto) / Mme Yasuda (Univ. of Kokugakuin)


Japan’s prison population has declined over the past ten years and has one of the lowest occupancy and incarceration rates in the world.

Almost one in five Japanese prisoners are aged over 60. Poor retirement policies have left Japan with one of the highest percentages of elderly prisoners in the world today.

The death penalty is still in force in Japan. Three people were executed in 2015 and four sentenced to death.

Prison conditions in Japan are above average in terms of hygiene and quality of facilities. However, everyday life is strictly planned, monitored and controlled by the prison administration. Inmates are only allowed to talk to one another at limited times during the day.

Country's population


Nature of the political system

Parliamentary democracy

Human Development Index