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February 21, 2013

Japan's new government embraces death penalty via three new executions

As reported in this new piece from The Guardian, headlined " Japan executions resume with three hangings: Hopes dashed of reprieve under Shinzo Abe's government with first sentences carried out since September 2012," Japan new government carried out its first set of executions this week.  Here are details on the latest executions and concerning Japan's recent capital punishment history:

Japan has carried out three executions -- the first since the country's conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, was elected last December, and a sign that Tokyo will defy international pressure to abolish the death penalty.

The justice ministry said the executions were carried out in the early hours of Thursday in three different locations.  One of the condemned men, Kaoru Kobayashi, had been sentenced to death for the abduction, sexual assault and murder of a seven-year-old schoolgirl in 2004.  He sent a photograph of the murdered girl to her mother.

The executions, the first since September 2012, could signal a return to more regular hangings under the current justice minister, Sadakazu Tanigaki.  "I ordered the executions after giving them careful consideration," Tanigaki told reporters.  "These were extremely cruel cases in which the victims had their precious lives taken away for very selfish reasons."

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," it said in a statement.  Opinion polls put support for capital punishment among the Japanese at about 80%.

Earlier this year Tanigaki indicated he would have no hesitation in signing execution orders; some previous holders of the post had refused to approve them, leading to a de facto moratorium.  "I will have to do what needs to be done according to the rule of law," he told journalists, adding that the secrecy surrounding hangings would continue.  Inmates are given very little notice before they are led to the gallows and their families are informed only after the executions have taken place.  "Even death row inmates have guarantees of privacy and we have to consider the feelings of their relatives," Tanigaki said. "I don't think it is necessarily a good idea to release more information."

At the end of last year Japan had 133 inmates on death row, the highest number since records were first kept in 1949.  They include Shoko Asahara, leader of the doomsday cult behind the 1995 sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in which 13 people died and thousands were made ill.

The previous government, led by the left-of centre Democratic party of Japan (DPJ), executed nine people during its three years and three months in office.  That included an 18-month period from July 2010 in which no hangings took place.  In the three years to 2008 there were 28 executions under LDP administrations.

The DPJ raised hopes among abolitionists in 2010 when it established a panel to look into Japan's use of capital punishment but the body was disbanded without reaching a conclusion in January 2012.

February 21, 2013 at 05:41 PM | Permalink


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And, and, what else?

Japan has a very low crime rate.

And, and what else?

It has 30,000 lawyers for a population of 100 million. Whereas we have 1.3 million feminist lawyers and male running dogs for a population of 300 million.

And, and what else?

Responsible Japanese officials think there are too many lawyers.


Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 22, 2013 7:30:43 AM

HANG HIMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: claudio giusti | Feb 22, 2013 12:00:44 PM

Claudio: Just some facts.

The left wing rent seekers (armed robbers of tax money, returning nothing of value to the public) would privilege the mass murderer just to keep a lousy government job. All obstructionists speak in bad faith, in their own economic self interest unless proven otherwise. They have the moral standing of holocaust deniers, 9/11 truthers, moon landing debunkers. Debate is useless, since they are liars.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 23, 2013 4:53:08 AM

are you pleading insanity ????????????????

Posted by: claudio giusti | Feb 23, 2013 2:33:17 PM

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