<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?> <html> <head> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="data:text/css;base64,77u/Ym9keSB7IA0KCWZvbnQtZmFtaWx5OnNlcmlmOyANCgltYXJnaW46MCBhdXRvOyANCgl3aWR0aDo5NjBweDsgDQp9DQp0YWJsZSB7IA0KCXdpZHRoOjEwMCU7IA0KCWJvcmRlci1ib3R0b206MnB4IHNvbGlkICMwMDA7IA0KfQ0KdGFibGUgdHI6Zmlyc3QtY2hpbGQgdGQgeyANCglib3JkZXItYm90dG9tOjFweCBzb2xpZCAjMDAwOyANCn0NCmRpdi5jb250ZW50IHsgDQoJd2lkdGg6ODAwcHg7IA0KCW1hcmdpbjoyMHB4IGF1dG8gMCBhdXRvOyANCn0NCmRpdi5jb250ZW50IHRhYmxlLCBkaXYuY29udGVudCB0YWJsZSB0ZCB7DQoJYm9yZGVyOm5vbmU7DQp9" /> </head> <body> <div class="content"> <h3>Forty-fourth session</h3> <p>20 July-7 August 2009</p> <h2>Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women</h2> <h3>Japan</h3> <p>1.The Committee considered the sixth periodic report of Japan (CEDAW/C/JPN/6) at its 890th and 891st meetings, on 23 July (see CEDAW/C/SR.890 and 891). The Committee s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/JPN/Q/6 and the responses of the Government of Japan are contained in CEDAW/C/JPN/Q/6/Add.1.</p> <h3>Introduction</h3> <p>2.The Committee expresses its appreciation to the State party for its sixth periodic report which followed the Committee s former guidelines for preparation of reports, but which was overdue. The Committee also expresses its appreciation to the State party for the written replies to the list of issues and questions raised by the pre-session working group and further expresses its appreciation to the State party for its oral presentation and the further clarifications given. The Committee notes that a number of changes in laws, policies and programmes with a positive impact on the rights of women have occurred since the end of the period covered by the State party s report. </p> <p>3.The Committee commends the State party for the inter-ministerial delegation headed by a member of the House of Councillors and appreciates the presence of a large number of national non-governmental organizations, showing a strong interest in the reporting process under the Convention.</p> <p>4.The Committee expresses its appreciation for the frank, open and constructive dialogue held between the delegation and the members of the Committee. </p> <p>5.The Committee welcomes the State party s recognition of the positive contributions made by non-governmental human rights and women s organizations in the implementation of the Convention.</p> <h3>Positive aspects</h3> <p>6.The Committee notes with appreciation that, since the consideration of its fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/JPN/4 and CEDAW/C/JPN/5) in 2003, the State party has enacted and revised numerous laws and legal provisions aimed at eliminating discrimination against women and promoting gender equality and achieving compliance with the State party s obligations under the Convention. In particular, it welcomes the adoption of the amendment of the Civil Act abolishing the family head system contained in article 3.1 of the Nationality Law, which enables children born out of wedlock to Japanese men and foreign women to be granted Japanese nationality regardless of whether paternity is recognized before or after the birth. The amended provision also ensures that men and women have the same rights with respect to their children s nationality. </p> <p>7.The Committee commends the State party for the appointment in October 2005 of a Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs and the adoption of a comprehensive Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality in December 2005 which laid out 12 important fields towards practical realization of gender equality together with long-term policy direction until 2020. </p> <p>8.The Committee welcomes the establishment in April 2004 of the Inter&#8209;Ministerial Liaison Committee on the development of measures to combat trafficking in persons and the adoption in December 2004 of an Action Plan on Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons.</p> <p>9.The Committee welcomes the State party s support for women with disabilities through the enactment in 2006 of the Services and Support for Persons with Disabilities Act and the revised Employment Promotion Law for Persons with Disabilities (2008) which expands and reinforces measures for the employment of persons with disabilities. </p> <p>10.The Committee welcomes the State party s continuous progress in reducing the maternal mortality rate, making it one of the countries with the lowest maternal mortality rates in the world. </p> <p>11.The Committee notes with appreciation the enactment in 2006 of the Elderly Abuse Prevention Law which promotes measures to prevent the abuse of the elderly and provides support to caregivers.</p> <p>12.The Committee appreciates the fact that the State party has integrated a gender dimension into its development cooperation programmes and is promoting women s human rights within that framework. </p> <h3>Principal areas of concern and recommendations</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">13. The Committee recalls the State party  s obligation to implement, systematically and continuously, all the provisions of the Convention, and views the concerns and recommendations identified in the present concluding observations as requiring the State party  s priority attention between now and the submission of its next periodic report. Consequently, the Committee urges the State party to focus on those areas in its implementation activities and to report on actions taken and results achieved in its next periodic report. It calls upon the State party to submit the present concluding observations to all relevant ministries, to the Parliament and to the judiciary, so as to ensure their full implementation.</p> <h3>Parliament</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">14. While reaffirming that the Government has the primary responsibility and is particularly accountable for the full implementation of the State party  s obligations under the Convention, the Committee, stressing that the Convention is binding on all branches of Government, invites the State party to encourage its national parliament, in line with its procedures, where appropriate, to take the necessary steps with regard to the implementation of these concluding observations and the Government  s next reporting process under the Convention.</p> <h3>Previous concluding observations</h3> <p>15.The Committee regrets that some of the concerns it expressed and the recommendations it made after its consideration of the State party s fourth and fifth periodic reports (CEDAW/C/JPN/4 and CEDAW/C/JPN/5) have been insufficiently addressed. It notes, in particular, that those regarding the lack of a definition of discrimination in line with the Convention, the discriminatory provisions in the Civil Code, the visibility of the Convention, the situation of women in the labour market and the wage discrimination women face and the low representation of women in high-level elected bodies have not been addressed. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">16. The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address the previous recommendations that have not yet been implemented, as well as the concerns contained in the present concluding observations, and report on their implementation in its next periodic report.</p> <h3>Discriminatory legislation</h3> <p>17.The Committee is concerned that, despite its recommendation in its previous concluding observations, discriminatory legal provisions in the Civil Code with respect to the minimum age for marriage, the waiting period required for women before they can remarry after divorce and the choice of surnames for married couples have yet to be repealed. It is further concerned that children born out of wedlock continue to be discriminated against through the family registry system and in provisions on inheritance. It notes with concern the use by the State party of public opinion surveys to explain the lack of progress in the repeal of discriminatory legislation. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">18. The Committee urges the State party to take immediate action to amend the Civil Code with a view to setting the minimum age for marriage at 18 for both women and men, abolishing the six-month waiting period required for women but not men before remarriage and adopting a system to allow for the choice of surnames for married couples. It further urges the State party to repeal the discriminatory provisions in the Civil Code and in the Family Registration Law that discriminate against children born out of marriage and their mothers. The Committee points out that the obligations undertaken under the Convention by the State party upon ratification should not be solely dependent on the results of public opinion surveys, but on its obligations to align national laws in line with the provisions of the Convention as it is a part of its national legal system.</p> <h3>Legal status and visibility of the Convention </h3> <p>19.The Committee is concerned that the Convention has not been given central importance as a binding human rights instrument and as a basis for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and the advancement of women in the State party. In this connection, while noting that article 98, paragraph 2, of the Constitution stipulates that treaties that are ratified and promulgated have legal effect as part of the State party s internal law, the Committee is concerned that the provisions of the Convention are non-self-executing and are not directly applicable in court proceedings. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">20. The Committee urges the State party to recognize the Convention as the most pertinent, broad and legally binding international instrument in the sphere of the elimination of discrimination against women. The Committee urges the State party to take immediate measures to ensure that the Convention becomes fully applicable in the domestic legal system, and that its provisions are fully incorporated into national legislation, including through the introduction of sanctions, where appropriate. It also recommends that the State party increase its efforts to raise awareness about the Convention and the Committee  s general recommendations among judges, prosecutors and lawyers so as to ensure that the spirit, objectives and provisions of the Convention are well known and used in judicial processes. It furthermore recommends the State party to take measures to further increase awareness and provide capacity-building programmes for civil servants about the Convention and gender equality. It reiterates its recommendation that the State party continue to consider the ratification of the Optional Protocol and its strong belief that the mechanisms available under the Optional Protocol would strengthen the direct application of the Convention by the judiciary and assist it in understanding discrimination against women. </p> <h3>Definition of discrimination</h3> <p>21.While noting that the Constitution enshrines the principle of equality between men and women, the Committee remains concerned at the absence of direct and clear incorporation of the Convention and of a specific definition of discrimination against women in accordance with article 1 of the Convention in domestic legislation. It regrets that the Law on Securing of Equal Opportunity and Treatment between Men and Women (hereinafter referred to as the Equal Employment Opportunity Law), which was revised in 2006, did not incorporate such a definition but introduced a narrow definition of indirect discrimination. It recalls that the absence of a specific provision with a definition of discrimination against women, encompassing both direct and indirect discrimination in both the public and private spheres, constitutes an impediment to the full application of the Convention in the State party.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">22. The Committee calls on the State party to take urgent steps to incorporate the Convention and the definition of discrimination against women, as contained in article 1 of the Convention, fully into domestic legislation and to report on progress made in this regard in its next periodic report. </p> <h3>National human rights institution </h3> <p>23.The Committee regrets that, despite its recommendation in its previous concluding observations and as highlighted by other treaty bodies, an independent national human rights institution with a wide mandate, including for the protection and promotion of women s human rights, in accordance with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions (see General Assembly resolution 48/134, annex), has not yet been established.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">24. The Committee recommends, taking account of Japan  s response at the Human Rights Council at the end of the universal periodic review process (see A/HRC/8/44/Add.1, para. 1 (a)), that the State party establish within a clear time frame an independent national human rights institution in accordance with the Principles, whose competencies should include issues related to the equality of women and men.</p> <h3>National machinery for the advancement of women </h3> <p>25.While welcoming the establishment in October 2005 of the Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs, the Committee is concerned that the Gender Equality Bureau of the Cabinet Office, which serves as the secretariat for the national machinery for gender equality, lacks the mandate and appropriate financial resources to perform its functions. The Committee regrets the lack of information in the report on the results achieved through the Second Basic Plan for Gender Equality. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">26. The Committee recommends that the State party further strengthen its national machinery for the advancement of women, including by clearly defining the mandate and responsibilities of its various components, in particular between the Minister of State for Gender Equality and Social Affairs and the Gender Equality Bureau, and enhancing coordination among them, as well as through the provision of financial and human resources. It further recommends that the Convention be used as the legal framework for the design of the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality and that monitoring mechanisms be put in place to regularly assess progress towards achievement of established goals. </p> <h3>Temporary special measures</h3> <p>27.The Committee notes with regret that no temporary special measures are in place to accelerate de facto equality between men and women or to improve the enjoyment by women of their rights in the State party, in particular with regard to women in the workplace and the participation of women in political and public life.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">28. The Committee urges the State party to adopt, in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee  s general recommendation No. 25, temporary special measures, with an emphasis on the areas of employment of women and participation of women in political and public life, including women in academia, and with numerical goals and timetables to increase representation of women in decision-making positions at all levels.</p> <h3>Stereotypes</h3> <p>29.The Committee is concerned at the reported  backlash against the recognition and promotion of women s human rights in the State party, despite the persistence of inequality between women and men. It continues to be concerned at the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and deep-rooted stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society in Japan, which threaten to undermine women s exercise and enjoyment of their human rights. The Committee notes that this persistence is, inter alia, reflected in the media and in educational textbooks and curricular materials, all of which influence women s traditional educational choices and contribute to the unequal sharing of family and domestic responsibilities, resulting in their disadvantaged situation in the labour market and their underrepresentation in political and public life and decision-making positions. The Committee is further concerned that stereotypical attitudes are particularly prevalent in the media, where women and men are often depicted in a stereotyped manner and that pornography is becoming increasingly prevalent in the media. The over-sexualized depiction of women strengthens the existing stereotypes of women as sex objects and continues to generate girls low self-esteem. The Committee expresses its concern at the high incidence of gender discriminatory statements and sexist remarks made by public officers and the lack of steps taken to prevent and punish verbal violence against women. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">30. The Committee calls upon the State party to further enhance its efforts and to take proactive and sustained measures to eliminate stereotypical attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men, through awareness-raising and educational campaigns. The Committee recommends that the State party encourage the mass media to promote cultural change with regard to the roles and tasks considered suitable for women and men, as required by article 5 of the Convention. The Committee requests the State party to enhance the education and in-service training of the teaching and counselling staff of all educational establishments and at all levels with regard to gender equality issues, and to speedily complete a revision of all educational textbooks and materials to eliminate gender stereotypes. The Committee urges the State party to take measures, including the criminalization of verbal violence, to ensure that Government officials do not make disparaging remarks that demean women and contribute to the patriarchal system which discriminates against women. It also urges the State party to strengthen its strategies to combat pornography and sexualization in the media and advertising and to report the results of the implementation in its next periodic report. It calls on the State party to take proactive steps , including through encouraging the adoption and implementation of self-regulatory measures , to ensure that media production and coverage are non-discriminatory and promote positive images of girls and women, as well as increase awareness of these issues among media proprietors and other relevant actors in the industry.</p> <h3>Violence against women</h3> <p>31.The Committee welcomes the various efforts undertaken by the State party to combat violence against women and sexual violence since the submission of its previous periodic report, including the revision of the Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims (domestic law legislation) which enhances the system for issuing protection orders and requires municipalities to establish counselling and support centres. It remains concerned that the domestic legislation does not cover all forms of violence within intimate relationships and that the time between a request for a protection order and its issuance may further endanger the victim s life. The Committee is further concerned at the obstacles women victims of domestic and sexual violence face when bringing complaints and seeking protection. It is particularly concerned at the precarious situation of immigrant women, minority women and women of vulnerable groups in this context which may prevent them from reporting cases of domestic and sexual violence. The Committee also expresses concern about the lack of information and data provided about the prevalence of all forms of violence against women. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">32. The Committee calls upon the State party to address violence against women as a violation of women  s human rights and to make full use of the Committee  s general recommendation No. 19 in its efforts to address all forms of violence against women. It urges the State party to intensify its awareness-raising efforts with regard to the unacceptability of all such violence, including domestic violence. It recommends that the State party strengthen its work on violence against women and speed up the issuance of protection orders and open a 24-hour free hotline for counselling women victims of violence against women. It also recommends that the State party ensure that high-quality support services are provided to women, including immigrant women and women of vulnerable groups, in order for them to bring complaints, seek protection and redress, thus ensuring that they do not have to stay in violent or abusive relationships. In this respect, the State party should take the necessary measures to facilitate the reporting of domestic and sexual violence. The Committee recommends that the State party implement comprehensive awareness-raising programmes throughout the country directed at these groups of vulnerable women. It calls upon the State party to ensure that public officials, especially law enforcement personnel, the judiciary, health-care providers and social workers, are fully familiar with relevant legal provisions and are sensitized to all forms of violence against women, and that they are capable of providing adequate support to victims. It urges the State party to collect data and to conduct research on the prevalence, causes and consequences of all forms of violence against women, including domestic violence, and to use such data as the basis for further comprehensive measures and targeted intervention. It invites the State party to include statistical data and the results of measures taken in its next periodic report. </p> <p>33.The Committee is concerned that, under the Penal Code, the crime of sexual violence is prosecuted only upon complaint by the victim and is still considered to be a crime against morality. The Committee further remains concerned that the penalty for rape remains low and that incest and marital rape are not defined explicitly as crimes under the Penal Code.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">34. The Committee urges the State party to eliminate in its Penal Code the requirement of the victim  s complaint in order to prosecute crimes of sexual violence and to define sexual crimes as crimes involving violations of women  s rights to bodily security and integrity, to increase the penalty for rape and to include incest as a specific crime.</p> <p>35.While the Committee welcomes legislative measures taken against child prostitution, such as the revision of the Act Banning Child Prostitution and Child Pornography which increased the maximum term of imprisonment for offences committed under this legislation, the Committee is concerned at the normalization of sexual violence in the State party as reflected by the prevalence of pornographic video games and cartoons featuring rape, gang rape, stalking and the sexual molestation of women and girls. The Committee notes with concern that these video games and cartoons fall outside the legal definition of child pornography in the Act Banning Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">36. The Committee strongly urges the State party to ban the sale of video games or cartoons involving rape and sexual violence against women which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls. The Committee also recommends that, as indicated in the delegation  s oral assurance during the constructive dialogue, the State party include this issue in its revision of the Act Banning Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. </p> <p>37.The Committee notes that some steps were taken by the State party to address the situation of  comfort women but regrets the State party s failure to find a lasting solution for the situation of  comfort women victimized during the Second World War and expresses concern at the deletion of references to this issue in school textbooks. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">38. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party urgently endeavour to find a lasting solution for the situation of  comfort women  which would include the compensation of victims, the prosecution of perpetrators and the education of the public about these crimes. </p> <h3>Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution</h3> <p>39.While welcoming the efforts undertaken by the State party to combat human trafficking, such as its establishment of the Anonymous Reporting Model Project, the Committee remains concerned about the persistence of trafficking in women and girls, the exploitation of prostitution, and the lack of measures aimed at rehabilitating women victims of trafficking. While noting with satisfaction the sharp decrease in the granting of entertainment visas, the Committee is concerned at information suggesting that internship and trainee programmes could be used for the purposes of forced labour and sexual exploitation. The Committee is further concerned that prostitutes are subject to prosecution under the Anti-Prostitution Law, while their clients do not face punishment. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">40. The Committee requests the State party to take further measures to protect and support victims of trafficking and address the root cause of trafficking by increasing its efforts to improve the economic situation of women, thereby eliminating their vulnerability to exploitation and traffickers, as well as to take measures for the rehabilitation and social integration of women and girls who are victims of exploitation of prostitution and trafficking. The Committee calls on the State party to take appropriate measures to suppress the exploitation of prostitution of women, including by discouraging the demand for prostitution. It also urges the State party to take measures to facilitate the reintegration of prostitutes into society and provide rehabilitation and economic empowerment programmes for women and girls exploited in prostitution. The Committee requests the State party to continue to monitor the issuance of visas for internship and trainee programmes closely. The Committee calls upon the State party to ratify the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.</p> <h3>Equal participation in political and public life </h3> <p>41.The Committee is concerned at the low percentage of women in high-ranking positions in the Government, the Diet, the local assemblies, the judiciary, academia and the diplomatic service. It notes the lack of statistics on the participation of minority women in political and public life.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">42. The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to increase the representation of women in political and public life, through, inter alia, the implementation of special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention, and with the Committee  s general recommendation No. 25, in order to accelerate the realization of women  s de facto equality with men. It encourages the State party to ensure that the representation of women in political and public bodies reflects the full diversity of the population. The Committee requests the State party to provide data and information on the representation of women, including migrant and minority women, in political and public life, in academia and in the diplomatic service, in its next periodic report. It calls upon the State party to consider using a range of possible measures, such as quotas, benchmarks, targets and incentives, in particular with regard to the accelerated implementation of articles 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 and 14 of the Convention.</p> <h3>Education</h3> <p>43.While noting the many initiatives undertaken to ensure women s equal rights with men in the field of education, the Committee is concerned that, despite strong opposition, the Basic Act on Education has been amended and article 5, which refers to the promotion of gender equality, has been removed. The Committee also notes with concern that women continue to be concentrated in traditional fields of study and are underrepresented in academia as students and as faculty members, particularly at the professorial level.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">44. The Committee recommends that the State party give serious consideration to reintegrating the promotion of gender equality in the Basic Act on Education so that the State party  s commitment under the Convention to protect women  s full rights in the field of education is integrated into domestic law. The Committee also urges the State party to ensure that education policy includes measures to encourage girls and women to pursue education and training in non-traditional fields and so broaden their opportunities for employment and careers in better paying sectors of the economy. The Committee recommends that in the Third Basic Plan for Gender Equality the quota set for the ratio of female faculty in university and colleges be increased from 20 per cent to ultimately facilitate movement towards parity in the sex ratio in these institutions.</p> <h3>Employment</h3> <p>45.The Committee remains concerned about women s disadvantaged situation in the labour market, as reflected in the significant vertical and horizontal occupational segregation between women and men. The Committee is particularly concerned that the  employment management category in the Administrative Guideline under the Equal Opportunity Law may provide leeway for employers to introduce a track-based system which discriminates against women. It is also concerned about the persistence of a very high gender-based wage gap of 32.2 per cent in hourly earnings among full-time workers and of an even higher gender-based wage gap among part-time workers, the predominance of women in fixed-term and part-time employment and illegal dismissal of women due to pregnancy and childbirth. The Committee also expresses concern regarding the inadequate protections and sanctions within existing labour laws. In particular, the Committee is concerned about the absence in the Labour Standards Law of a provision recognizing the principle of equal pay for equal work and work of equal value in accordance with the Convention and ILO Convention No. 100. The Committee also expresses concern at widespread sexual harassment in the workplace and the fact the legislation includes measures to identify companies that fail to prevent sexual harassment, and no punitive measures to enforce compliance beyond publicizing the names of the offending companies. The Committee is further concerned at the lengthy legal processes on employment issues, which are not understood by women and which impede them from obtaining redress in the courts, as provided for under article 2 (c) of the Convention. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">46. The Committee urges the State party to prioritize the realization of women  s de facto equality with men in the labour market, so as to achieve full compliance with article 11 of the Convention. It recommends that the State party take concrete measures, including temporary special measures in accordance with article 4, paragraph 1, of the Convention and the Committee  s general recommendation No. 25, to eliminate both vertical and horizontal occupational segregation and close the gender-based wage gap between women and men, as well as measures to prevent the practice of illegal dismissal of women in cases of pregnancy and childbirth. It encourages the State party to establish sanctions for discrimination against women in the employment field in both the public and private sectors, including sexual harassment, so as to create effective enforcement and monitoring mechanisms and to ensure that women have access to means of redress, including legal aid and timely disposal of their cases. </p> <h3>Reconciliation of family and work life </h3> <p>47.While welcoming the State party s legislative and policy efforts, such as the Charter for Work-Life Balance, the Action Policy for Promoting Work-Life Balance and the Strategy to Support Children and Family, as well as other measures to improve the reconciliation of family and work life, the Committee is concerned that domestic and family responsibilities are still primarily borne by women, and that this is reflected in the extremely low rate of men who take parental leave and by the fact that women interrupt their careers or engage in part-time jobs to meet family responsibilities. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">48. The Committee encourages the State party to step up its efforts to assist women and men to strike a balance between family and employment responsibilities, inter alia through further awareness-raising and education initiatives for both women and men on the adequate sharing of care of children and domestic tasks, as well as by ensuring that part-time employment is not taken up almost exclusively by women. The Committee urges the State party to strengthen its efforts to improve the provision and affordability of childcare facilities for children of different age groups and encourage more men to avail themselves of parental leave. </p> <h3>Health</h3> <p>49.While commending the State party for the high quality of its health services, the Committee is concerned about the recent increase in the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, among Japanese women. It is also concerned at the high ratio of abortion among teenage girls and young women and at the fact that women who elect to undergo abortion can be subjected to punishment under the Penal Code. The Committee regrets the lack of information on the mental and psychological health of women. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">50. The Committee recommends that the State party promote sexual health education targeted at adolescent girls and boys, and ensure access to sexual health information and all services, including those directed at interruption of pregnancies, for all women and girls. The Committee also requests the State party to provide, in its next report, sex-disaggregated data on health and the provision of health care and more information and data on the prevalence of, and measures taken against, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, among women. The Committee recommends that the State party 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. The Committee requests the State party to include in its next report information on the mental and psychological health of women. </p> <h3>Minority women</h3> <p>51.The Committee regrets the lack of information and statistical data about the situation of minority women in the State party, who suffer from multiple discrimination based on gender and ethnic origin, both in society at large and within their communities. The Committee further regrets the absence of any proactive measures, including a policy framework for each minority group, to promote the rights of minority women.</p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">52. The Committee urges the State party to take effective measures, including the establishment of a policy framework and the adoption of temporary special measures, to eliminate discrimination against minority women. To this end, the Committee urges the State p arty to appoint minority women representatives to decision-making bodies. The Committee reiterates its previous request (A/58/38, para. 366) that the State party include information on the situation of minority women in Japan , especially with regard to education, employment, health, social welfare and exposure to violence, in its next periodic report. In this context, the Committee calls upon the State party to conduct a comprehensive study on the situation of minority women, including indigenous Ainu, Buraku and Zainichi Korean and Okinawa women. </p> <h3>Vulnerable groups of women</h3> <p>53.The Committee notes the lack of information and statistics about vulnerable groups of women, particularly rural women, single mothers, women with disabilities, refugees and migrant women who often suffer from multiple forms of discrimination, especially in regard to access to employment, health care, education and social benefits. </p> <p style="font-weight:bold;">54. The Committee requests the State party to provide, in its next report, a comprehensive picture of the de facto situation of vulnerable groups of women in all areas covered by the Convention, and information on specific programmes and achievements. The Committee calls upon the State party to adopt gender-specific policies and programmes that would cater to the specific needs of vulnerable groups of women.</p> <h3>Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action </h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">55. The Committee urges the State party to continue to utilize, in implementing its obligations under the Convention, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which reinforce the provisions of the Convention, and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report. </p> <h3>Millennium Development Goals</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">56. The Committee emphasizes that full and effective implementation of the Convention is indispensable for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It calls for the integration of a gender perspective and explicit reflection of the provisions of the Convention in all efforts aimed at the achievement of the Goals, and requests the State party to include information thereon in its next periodic report.</p> <h3>Ratification of other treaties</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">57. The Committee notes that States  adherence to the nine major international human rights instruments would enhance the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms in all aspects of life. The Committee therefore encourages the Government of Japan to consider ratifying the instruments to which it is not yet a party, namely, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.</p> <h3>Dissemination</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">58. The Committee requests the wide dissemination in Japan of the present concluding observations in order to make the people, including Government officials, politicians, parliamentarians and women  s and human rights organizations, aware of the steps that have been taken t o ensure de jure and de facto equality of women and the further steps that are required in that regard. The Committee requests the State party to strengthen the dissemination, in particular to women  s and human rights organizations, of the Convention, its Optional Protocol, the Committee  s general recommendations, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled  Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century  .</p> <h3>Follow-up to concluding observations</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">59. The Committee requests the State party to provide, within two years, detailed written information on the implementation of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 18 and 28 above.</p> <h3>Date of next report</h3> <p style="font-weight:bold;">60. The Committee requests the State party to respond to the concerns expressed in the present concluding observations in its next periodic report under article 18 of the Convention. The Committee invites the State party to submit its combined seventh and eight h periodic report in July 2014.</p> </div> </body> </html>