TOKYO, Japan, March 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- 1. On Wednesday, March 14, the Trial Chamber I of the International Criminal Court (ICC) found Mr. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty of war crimes in the internal armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (by conscripting or enlisting child soldiers and using them to participate actively in hostilities).
2. This is the first verdict rendered by the ICC since it was established in 2002. Japan praises the ICC for having fulfilled its role in refusing the impunity of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole and in preventing the recurrence of such crimes.
3. From the standpoint of promoting the rule of law in the international community, Japan attaches great importance to the activities of the ICC as the only permanent judicial organ for international criminal justice, and expects that the ICC will continue to fulfill its role by prosecuting and punishing the most serious crimes in accordance with the Rome Statute.