HRC 53 JOICFP and partners Joint Statement to Japan's UPR

Published on July 10, 2023

Human Rights Council - 53th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Japan


JOICFP and 8 other partner organizations

Thank you Mr/ Madam President.

JOICFP delivers this statement on behalf of 9 partner organizations on the issues related to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR in short).

We deeply regret that Japan did not accept the recommendations it received on decriminalization of abortion, removal of spousal consent requirement for abortion, revision of law that forces sterilization to trans-persons under the legal gender recognition process, and implementation of comprehensive sexuality education.

The government’s response stating it is difficult to improve access to abortion and contraceptives as it is “individuals’ ethical and moral view” is simply wrong. Individuals’ “ethical and moral view” must not interfere with human rights, specifically SRHR. 

We also regret that Japan only “noted” the recommendations on ensuring access to safe, affordable, respectful abortion care, creating a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, recognising same sex marriage, and on adopting the Istanbul convention.

Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights. In fact, the leaders’ communique of the G7 Hiroshima summit adopted under the Japanese presidency, clearly states that G7 countries commit to further promoting comprehensive SRHR.1

Japan should adhere to this promise and lead the world by good examples.

As such we call on the Japanese government to 

  • Review the Penal Code on abortion and the Maternal Protection Act, decriminalize abortion and guarantee it as women's health and right.
  • Legislate an effective anti-discrimination law prohibiting discrimination based on SOGIE, legally recognize same-sex marriage, and repeal the forced sterilization requirement from the GID Special Cases Act.
  • Eradicate non-consensual sexual acts from the Japanese society, and ratify the Istanbul Convention.
  • Lastly we demand the approval of more modern contraception and improved access to oral abortion pill and emergency contraceptive in line with the voices of women, girls and persons with womb who require such medication.


I thank you.

Joint statement by:

  • Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP)
  • Citizen’s Project for Pharmacy access to Emergency Contraception (CIPATEC)
  • #Nandenaino Project (Why don’t we have?)
  • SOSHIREN (Women’s Network for Reproductive Freedom)
  • J-ALL (Japan Alliance for LGBT Legislation)
  • Spring
  • Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability (JYPS)
  • Sexual Rights Initiative
  • Asia Pacific Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

1 G7 Hiroshima Leaders' Communiqué,