This past Saturday, MVFHR's Japanese affiliate, Ocean, held its first annual conference, with several victims' family members speaking publicly. We provided a letter from MVFHR that was read aloud at the event:
On the first anniversary of the founding of Ocean, Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights would like to salute the group for its courage and dignity in serving as the collective voice of victims' family members who seek alternative responses in the aftermath of tragedy.
The need for this voice is more urgent than ever. The pace of executions in Japan has reached its highest level in over three decades, and there appears to be broad public support for capital punishment. But part of that support comes from the belief that executions are the way to achieve justice for victims' families and the way to help victims' families heal in the aftermath of their loss. We know that not all victims' families feel that way -- not in Japan, not in the U.S., and not in the other countries around the world where Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights has members. The recent increase in executions does not solve the problem of violent crime and does not help the families of victims; indeed, it creates a new set of victims in the families of those executed.
As the Japanese affiliate of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights, Ocean is part of a struggle to uphold human rights around the world. We hope for a world that truly honors the lives of those lost to violence.