Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Japan executes death row inmates

Japan executes death row inmates

Four Japanese inmates were hanged yesterday - including one who spent nearly 20 years on death row - officials and news reports said, the first executions to take place under Japan's new justice minister.
A Justice Ministry spokesman speaking on condition of anonymity per ministry policy read a statement confirming that four executions were carried out, but refused to offer any further details.
The death sentences were the first to have been carried out since new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in late September and appointed Jinen Nagase as justice minister.
They were also the first to take place in Japan since September 2005. Nagase's predecessor, Seiken Sugiura, was an opponent of the death penalty who signed no execution orders during his 11 months in office.
Amnesty International's Japan office issued a statement condemning the executions, noting that they took place with Japan's parliament out of session and without having notified either the inmates or their relatives in advance that the sentences were to be carried out yesterday.
The statement identified the inmates as Yoshimitsu Akiyama, Yoshio Fujinami, Michio Fukuoka and Hiroaki Hidaka.
Akiyama, 77, was the oldest and had spent the longest time of the four waiting for the execution to be carried out, having been sentenced in 1987, according to Kyodo News agency.
Executions are rare in Japan. The government is extremely secretive about its death penalty and tends to carry out hangings when parliament is not in session.
The government lifted a four-year moratorium on capital punishment in 1993. But until 1998, it refused to publicly acknowledge executions, which are done by hanging.
With yesterday's executions, Japan now has 93 inmates on death row, another Justice Ministry official said, also on condition of anonymity.


Updated : 2021-06-17 17:55 GMT+08:00