FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, AUGUST 5, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
UNITED STATES - JAPAN MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY
SIGNED TO ENHANCE LAW ENFORCEMENT COOPERATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft, and three representatives of the government of Japan, Minister of Justice Mayumi Moriyama, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Sadakazu Tanigaki, as well as Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ryozo Kato, today signed a new mutual legal assistance treaty in criminal matters. It is the first bilateral MLAT signed by the government of Japan.
The treaty will be an effective tool to assist in the investigation and prosecution of many crimes, including terrorism, drug trafficking, child exploitation and obscenity, antitrust and environment crimes, as well as fraud and white collar offenses. Among other things, the treaty will assist law enforcement from the two countries with: taking testimonies and statements; obtaining evidence, including bank and business records; locating persons; providing information and records from governmental departments or agencies; inviting persons to testify in the requesting state; and any other assistance permitted under the laws of the requested country and agreed upon by the agency designated to make and receive requests under the treaty.
“The ministers, ambassador and I recognize the need to work together to see that justice is done and that no criminal hides evidence of wrongdoing behind international borders,” said Attorney General Ashcroft. “This treaty establishes a comprehensive framework in combating crime and builds on the already close relationship between our two countries.”
The United States has negotiated and signed over 50 bilateral MLATs with law enforcement partners around the world. This new treaty with Japan is consistent with other MLATs negotiated by the United States, and is based on the model developed in the context of the G-8.