Japan Executes Three Death Row Prisoners

Friday, February 22, 2013
死刑執行で「日本が孤立する」 人権団体が批判

Japan executed three death row prisoners this week, the first since hard right politician Shinzo Abe became prime minister.

According to the justice ministry, the three inmates were executed by hanging early Thursday, one each in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo. The most notorious, Kaoru Kobayashi, was sentenced to death for the abduction, sexual assault, and murder of a seven-year-old schoolgirl in 2004.

Following the executions, justice minister, Sadakazu Tanigaki, said: "I ordered the executions after giving them careful consideration...These were extremely cruel cases in which the victims had their precious lives taken away for very selfish reasons."

The Japanese public strongly supports the death penalty. However, Amnesty International Japan condemned the executions: "The Japanese government cannot be excused from abiding by international human rights standards, just by citing opinion among the public."

Japan now has 133 inmates on death row

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