Greetings from Japan and call for petition on decriminalizing abortion in Japan!

Here is the address of the website for our ‘million signatures campaign’, and it will be really appreciated if you could circulate this to whoever may be interested in. This is a petition in order to abolish the article in the Penal Code in which women and those who practiced abortion are criminalized.

Go to

As Japan is a donor country, Japanese law on abortion has an impact on many developing countries through the policy of the official development assistance by the Japanese government.

The Japanese Penal Code prohibits the performance of all abortions. Penal Code stipulates “when a pregnant woman causes her own abortion by drugs or any other means, imprisonment with work for not more than 1 year shall be imposed” in its article 212, although the Maternal Protection Law justifies abortion on the ground of medico-economic reason and rape, under the autorization of her spouse.

The concluding observations announced by the CEDAW Committee in August 2009, after its review of the sixth periodic report of Japan, are as follows:

“The Committee recommends that the State party (Japan) amend, when possible, its legislation criminalizing abortion in order to remove punitive provisions imposed on women who undergo abortion, in line with the Committee’s general recommendation No.24 on women and health and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”.

But the Japanese government will not try to change the law. So we strongly urge the new Japanese government to abolish the provisions under the Penal Code that criminalize abortion.

We have launched one million signatures campaign for decriminalizing abortion. You can find the signature form at the following address. We would appreciate it if you would sign this form in order to put pressure on the Japanese government to decriminalize abortion.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Sumie Asatori and Fumi Suzuki


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