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Justice minister says she ordered Aum executions after 'careful consideration'


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What's to consider?

Drop every single one of them

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

What were the reasons for Aum’s attacks on society?

Why did many intelligent people join?

The death penalty makes sure that society will never understand.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Asahara + 6 rest in Hell !

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The government here does a pretty good job of covering up the details of executions, but eventually the story will be leaked about how each of the seven men reacted from the time they were informed they were to be executed to the moment the trap was sprung. I've read different versions for the same person. Okubo Kiyoshi, a serial rapist-murderer in the 1970s, was initially claimed to have walked to the gallows resolutely, but a later account claimed he broke down and blubbered like a kid.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

...good riddance.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

A very very long overdue justice has prevail! Took 23 years to kill this guy, very amazing!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Nope! Asahara should have rotted his remaining days of blindness in a cell. Death for him was a parole.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Kill em all.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

But she defended the death penalty at the Justice Ministry, saying it is necessary for those committing atrocious crimes, otherwise such offenses will continue to happen, and much of the public also believes in the system.

Death penalty is a legal revenge, so please don't say that DP helps stop these kinds of offenses from happening again as Japan has Death Penalty but heinous crimes are still happening every single day. So if that is your justification for DP then it is not working. So the best is just stop sugar coating it and just admit that you support the eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth law. End of story.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Minister Kamikawa, the female mouthpiece for a nasty message is merely the carefully selected "cat's paw" pulled out the politicians' "Hello Kitty" bag of tricks in order to deliver a sugar-coated justification for state-sanctioned murder, citing the necessity of a "deterrent" for anyone who causes social mayhem with unpleasant, political ramifications for the government. As others have pointed out, many killers are mentally disturbed and some even fantasize suicide by execution. There is now ample data from around the world to prove definitively that executions do not work as a deterrent. The only conceivable case for capital punishment to serve as a deterrent has never been tried or very rarely applied, i.e., to prevent government officials from committing heinous crimes on a huge scale since this particular class of humankind is conspicuous for its cowardice. They love to exercise their godlike power of life and death by, as despots have done for millennia, "killing the chicken to scare the monkey". This is their "dirty little secret" that, as Leonard Cohen sings, "everybody knows"!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

While this is very happy news to hear of his death, it took way too long. Japan needs to act more like china in its approach to the death penalty: triial, verdict, take them out back and end it. He was alive for too long

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Capital punishment is a form of self defense for society. Glad they finally "jerked him to Jesus"...

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Kamikawa...avoided answering other key questions, for example, why the seven were selected from the 13 Aum death-row inmates and why the punishment was carried out at this time.

The executions were carried out now because Japan has faced a barrage of criticism in the past for it's appalling treatment of death row prisoners, executions of mentally ill prisoners and, most importantly, the Hakamada case.

Iwao Hakamada is the poor soul tortured into confessing to a multiple murder he didn't commit in 1996. He spent 46 years on death row until he was released in 2014. He didn't even get a retrial, they just let him out. His hideous story was broadcast around the world and provoked a serious reappraisal of the death penalty here.

In 2020 Japan will host the 14th. UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and shortly after that, the Olympics. The last thing the country wants is any adverse publicity to spoil the party, hence the rush to execute the Aum Shinrikyo people as soon as possible. This is a politically motivated mass execution.

Japan has now lost the chance to ever discover the truth about Aum Shinrikyo. More than a few people will be sleeping easier tonight.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

As I understand it, people on Death Row in Japan don’t get told which day they will get executed. Every day they wake up could be their last. A little sadistic but somehow it’s not a bad system.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Asahara reaped what he sowed. Im fine with that.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Blood for blood.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Adios and sayonara to any and all Aum Shinrikyu ! They were and are vermin !

Japan has done well to send this message .

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

While this is very happy news to hear of his death, it took way too long. Japan needs to act more like china in its approach to the death penalty: triial, verdict, take them out back and end it. He was alive for too long

And then wake up one day and find out that you killed the wrong person. But hey you got your "justice" right?

From the point their sentences were finalized, to having them carried out, for here, is near light speed.

There are others that have been sitting on death row for decades, and many will probably die of old age, rather than have their sentences carried out.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's understandable that they should receive the death penalty, but why drag it on so long? It seems like a cat playing with a mouse before finally delivering the death blow.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Guys, for those asking why it took so long, I believe it says in the article that the death penalty is stayed until all suspected accomplices have been tried as well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Asahara wasnt even talking. Once he stopped talking, he was worthless.

No need to keep him alive.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He was thinking any pardon the death penalty would come when the present Emperor will resign or any earthquake at the prison to get a chance to escape, but no mercy, he was executed as he deserved, the only thing happened in his last moments was this heavy rain still stagnated all Japan. Lacrimae to purify from evil minds?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Full marks to Japan for not bowing to the growing Western concern about capital punishment. Murder is the ultimate crime and it deserves the ultimate punishment. Is it also retribution? Yes, of course, but one can say the same of prison, retribution for depriving someone else of health, safety, property or whatever. And of course capital punishment is economical for the state and the taxpayer, so even more fitting for someone who held someone else's life so cheap they killed for it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What a woman. She has the guts, shae has balls, she has the heart and she can use her brain, as simple as that.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The correct decision in my opinion.

Justice has been done.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The death penalty is wrong, no matter what. Japan (and the US) need to follow other developed countries in outlawing it. It’s not justice, it’s just revenge.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Rosalind Harris, you have bigger problems. What is your definitions of justice and revenge ?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

05:43 pm JST

There is now ample data from around the world to prove definitively that executions do not work as a deterrent. 

By the same logic, putting people in jail for life or for long periods doesn't work as a deterrent either -- so we should stop putting people in jail.

The difference is one side claims it work as a deterrent. The other side doesn’t make that claim.

You are confusing a refutation (ineffective deterrent) with a reason against the death penalty. That is faulty logic.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It’s not justice, it’s just revenge.

Mankind has always had an understanding for thousands of years, that if a person commits a particularly heinous crime, they forfiet their right to live.

I often wonder what got into the heads of people in advanced countries in the 1960's to suddenly think that this is no longer the case.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Ex_Res, subjective is the word. Some people can kill others without justification, and some people can't be killed even with justification.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The death penalty makes sure that society will never understand.

How many years are necessary to “understand”? 23 years are not enough?

Cults like this have been around for hundreds of years if not thousands. I think we know what spawns them and that, being embedded in human nature, is not going to disappear no matter how much society is “engineered”.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


Blood for blood.

No. Noose for gas.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Tony W: "Full marks to Japan for not bowing to the growing Western concern about capital punishment."

What on earth are you on about, man? Plenty of Western countries have the death penalty. The US is the most advanced country to still have it. They are Western, are they not? And you realize that you are condoning what China, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines under Duterte (though I'm not sure if he has officially reinstated capital punishment, which was abolished), do? Also, Mongolia abolished it, and they are not Western. Sounds like someone has a bit of weird bias going on, bud.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The one thing that nearly all of the do-gooders in this world (opposing the death penalty) that I have come actoss, is that it has never happened to them.

Victims and their loved ones should have their voice heard.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

According the the following, over 80% of Japanese support the death penalty.


But, according this article, the support is luke warm.


In short, Japanese appear to support the death penalty, but only in rare cases and not with the blood-lust posing as righteous vengeance we see all too often in other countries. And even on this thread.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The death penalty needs to be abolished in Japan. :) :)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A topic as monumental as capital punishment creates a very polarising debate. The family of the victims were satisfied to see these Aum terrorists executed. Some might argue that this is an emotional reaction to their losses. It could be but I also see it as the only logical and normal reaction to terrorists committing terrible atrocities on the subway in Tokyo. It is disgusting and abhorrent what these terrorists did. Of course, several groups of people did not agree with the executions on grounds of human rights among other things. Personally, I believe that if a person commits murder, they should indeed be murdered as well in a legal way. That is why I support the result of these executions. For those who wanted to hear more about the motives by these Aum members and feel like a part of history has gone with them to the ground, I would say that there are ways to research more about them. Besides, why give them greater publicity? They took lives of other people who have no chance to live in this world anymore. They could be insane and that brings up a greater debate which I shall not go into here. However, these attacks seem far too planned and premediated to have been carried out by insane people unless of course we assume that being insane is a rather multi-layered term which is not so easily defined. I would prefer not to normalise insanity and use it as an excuse for executing people who clearly planned attacks. Execution has never been the greatest deterrent but humans will always commit crimes. Some will and they should be punished. I would rather see them executed than waste the cell in a prison that could be used by an inmate who has not committed so heinous a crime and also wastes taxpayers money to feed them. Rehabilitation could work for those who have committed lesser crimes but these people were in my opinion beyond any sort of rehabilitation. Moreover, capital punishment is reserved for the most awful of crimes. Politicians have their own motives for doing things and are certainly not model examples to live up to. I fail to see how discourses of corrupt politicians bares any relation to capital punishment. In the same vein that you have a victors justice in war, there is only those who we elect or the parties we elect who can represent our voices in society. Politicians are vested with the power to make laws and I would prefer that to anarchy. Sometimes they make decisions I agree with, sometimes they do not. In this case, I agree with the decision to execute these scumbags whom I would personally be prepared to execute for their cowardly, unnecessary and evil acts of terrorism and murder in a public place.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japanese throughout their history were some pretty violent folks, and crime was dealt with harshly, damn near death for any crime, guilty or otherwise.

There is no Judaeo-Christian BS to muck up their morals regarding the taking of a life. This is a decision that society here has to make, and the overwhelming majority of people support the death penalty.

Don't like it, fine, try to change it? Good luck beating your head against the wall as folks here don't even count this as an issue worthy of discussion.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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