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Japan executes three death-row inmates


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Abolish the death penalty, Japan. It's the 21st century.

-16 ( +22 / -36 )

Why abolish it? You rather see tax payer money used to keep them going for their entire life? Or do you suggest freeing convicted murderers?

12 ( +30 / -18 )

Hope it's the Aum guy.

4 ( +10 / -7 )

That'll teach em!!

1 ( +10 / -11 )

Think about how Japan is so infamous for forced confessions and suspiciously high court conviction rates, and about how even in the US recently people have been freed from jail after long imprisonments because new technology proved they were wrongly convicted. I think we've reached a point where a sentence that can't be overturned if new evidence comse to light is not longer acceptable.

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Good riddance.

5 ( +15 / -9 )

Why abolish it? You rather see tax payer money used to keep them going for their entire life?

Basically, yes. I don't believe a human has the right to kill another human. These people are not born killers. They become killers in the society that we created.

I empathize with the families' wishes to enforce the death penalty. No doubt I would feel the same if it were someone close to me who had been killed. However, a legal system should not be established on emotion.

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

Barbaric from a country that has few protections for accused. Poor Japan really can't stop following America. How is capital punishment reducing the murder rate?

It's not. THe elderly are killing each other more often. Less young people sees less murders in the most vioent age group but the death penalty hasn't stopped old folks killing old folks.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

I have to agree with Borax, seeing as how many prosecutors force a confession from even innocent people and Japan not releasing the names of the people who got hanged, it is possible some deathrow inmates might be innocent.

BUt if they are guilty with clear evidence, im sure they did something that deserves the dp. F.e. that witch in Hyogo who barreled a guy in the ocean. no problem to hang her.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I don't see any problem as long as their guilt is not in question. Hence, the best thing to do is to ensure fair and transparent investigations and trials for death row cases.

3 ( +8 / -6 )

Why hanging? This is the preferred method of dispatch in Japan, if I recall correctly, but it seems archaic. Done properly, it's quick and not very messy, but it can prove problematic.

Lethal injection is probably the least messy, but it can go wrong too. A modern firing squad is probably the least prone to error as far as guaranteed success is concerned, other than a guillotine - but that's messy.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The least-messy and most-humane method of execution is probably helium asphyxiation via a breathing mask, combined with a sedative. But, tradition has its place I suppose.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I don't see how the execution of convicted murderers is incompatible with civility. I would argue that Japan in many respects demonstrates a greater degree of civility in day-to-day life than my home nation of Canada. Japan has the death penalty and Canada does not, but this has little if any practical bearing on the civility of either nation.

For that matter, Japan's rate of murder is almost six times lower than that of Canada. So even if we're using a crude "body count" measure in which we lump together executions and criminal homicides as equally wrong, Japan still comes out far ahead.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I bet those cowards went to the gallows just like the day they were born,.......crying.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

I am in favor of the death penalty in light of things like what are happening in India. OTOH, Japan has serious issues with forced confessions once the right people believe they have their man (witness the four who "confessed" to sending death threats even though we now know it wasn't them). They need a really high bar for evidence.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

When you try to describe what the term "civilized" means, you are making a category error - you are taking your own personal definition of civility, and applying it to other circumstances and cultures which may not share your particular definition. So your argument becomes, "I have an aesthetic distaste for the death penalty. I think it's icky, and people who use it are icky."

That's fine (de gustibus non est disputandum and all that...), but it's hardly a robust moral argument. For one thing, I doubt the people of Japan, by and large, look at the death penalty in terms of "fear" at all. My observation is that it is considered a natural outcome of an individual's bad choices, much like how a river's natural outcome is usually the sea. Society's role, in this view, is merely to guide the individual toward the natural outcome.

We run into a lot of trouble when we try to lift moral concepts phrased in the terms and conceptual boundaries of Greco-Roman-Renaissance-Modern-etc. western thought, and superimpose them on top of Japan. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are all developed nations which maintain the death penalty, and I don't see their civility being diminished as a result.

Your last remark is merely an argumentum ad populum comparing Japan to most western nations, which is simply not going to work here, because Japan - while a MODERN nation - is not a WESTERN nation. You should think about the importance of social order in a culture like that of Japan, and think about how your ideas about civility might not even make conceptual sense when applied to the Japanese model.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

these beasts admitted to killing and the method barbaric and also they didn't show any kind of remorse!

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

@ couversaka Wow! Finally someone on these forums who actually makes reference to proper logical argumentation and cites fallacies - I'm shocked.

In the USA and Europe we have significant popular outcry against capital punishment almost whenever it is executed, er, implemented, so it has to be addressed - it becomes part of the civil discussion. Do we see the same thing in Japan? China? Elsewhere in Asia?

More often than not, what we do have in Asia are Western international organizations decrying the practice, but the discussion remaining external. Which is not to say a global discussion is irrelevant or uncalled for, just that all parties in the discussion be recognized with equal voice, acknowledging that some of those voices will be divergent.

The global trend is toward abolishment; something like 20% of the world's nations actively retain it. Something like 28% retain it for special circumstances, or retain it under moratorium. This means half the world is still mulling it over; debate is not settled.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Considering that the Japanese Bar Association is against the death penalty, and they should know what they are talking about, I don't see capital punishment surviving in the long run in Japan.

The most important aspect for me is when you give your government the right to kill someone, you also give it the right to kill you.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

despite what you say couversaka... whether you argue from a moral relativist point of view, or, appeal to an established set of ethics. the fact remains that the death penalty serves no justifiable (I would argue, nor ethical ) purpose. Death penalty has no effect on rates of murder. The death penalty, then, is simply the satisfaction of blood lust and revenge. That does not in any way equate to justice. In an humane society this necessitates the death penalty's removal. And that is indeed what has happened in many societies. I would (given time) like to do a regression analysis on countries without the death penalty against factors such as "lack of fundamentalist religious attitudes in the population" (or 'rational' societies if you like) and other factors too... it's just a thought. The humanist in me abhors and is disgusted by the death penalty. It seems utterly irrational.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The death penalty is not the way to go. It is weird that a country can call itself a modern one, yet hang people guilty of (admittedly) horrible crimes. I have nothing against harsh sentences but this old thinking that killing the killer would make anyone feel better is just twisted. That Kobayashi character, for example, can't be well. Mental problems it sounds like.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

thinking that killing the killer would make anyone feel better is just twisted

No stance on the capital punishment, however, most people (victim side) do not feel better after the killer is killed. It's about how they perceive justice is accomplished.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The death penalty isn't about revenge, it is simply about protecting society.

Long prison sentences do nothing to rehabilitate. Within 3 years of release 1.25% of murderers kill someone, and 67% are arrested for committing some other crime.

Extreme murderers such as those executed in Japan show much higher recidivism rates, and 22.5% of this category of offenders are likely to murder again within 3 years.

In short they're mad dogs who cannot control themselves and have a high probability of killing again in the near future. They need to be put down for the safety of society.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )


Tell that to Sakae Menda.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hanging killers, why not it's a proven deterrent? Why stop there let's follow other modern societies remove thieves hands, stone adulterers remove the eyes of pornogroghers, vengeance needs to overshadow any well balanced happy society.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It’s natural to hang these condemned criminals. Their crimes never forgive except compensation their life. I believe that an erasure of offense is only able to remove the death penalty!! Please consider victims especially very young children and their parents. I wonder why anti-death penalty people can say, stop the hanging.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Cricky "Hanging killers, why not it's a proven deterrent?"

Contrary to what you'd expect, it has been repeatedly proven that it's not a deterrent.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think it's worthwhile noting that Japan was one of the earliest nations to abolish the death penalty in recorded history. This happened in 818 under the reign of Emperor Saga and lasted until 1156 marking a period of 338 years which I believe still holds the record!

I can see a lot of good arguments for and against the death penalty but despite my own support of it based on everything from the pursuit of justice to taxpayer burden I do see the validity in the argument concerning wrongful convictions. However this article here:


Made me reassess some of my views particularly concerning the pursuit of justice and taxpayer burden. I mean if putting someone in prison for life or until they're let out after being found innocent after the fact is so horrible one has to wonder however briefly if perhaps it might have been better if they had just executed in the first place. That and the fact that in places like Marylands it actually costs more to execute criminals than keep them alive for life. I have no idea what it's like in Japan but that's interesting, I never thought executing someone could be more expensive than keeping them in prison for life but if what if life imprisonment basically amounts to "throwing them into a hole filled with other dangerously criminals and throwing a bucket of gruel in every now and again" well then that makes sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Reducing murder rate?” What’s the meaning of the sentence about it? Death penalty is only penalty for murders. We don’t expect reducing murder rate by this penalty. Humans are not born killers certainly on the other hand, humans have got a responsibility. Therefore it’s right to bear the responsibility!!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Apologies for the ambiguity of my comment in hindsight but basically I'm just noting in a round-about fashion that no human rights activist I've ever known has argued "for" the death penalty based on the belief that it's more humane than life imprisonment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hanging was not punishment enough for a child rapist and murderer

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Legalized murder, that's all it is. Doesn't make us any different. It's equally barbaric.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

PeaceWarriorFeb. 21, 2013 - 04:01PM JST @Frungy Tell that to Sakae Menda.

Tell that to the relatives of victims murdered by murderers released from prison. On average 1.25% of released murderers will kill again within 3 years of release from prison. In Japan that would come to 1 murder by a released murderer every 3 years (only about 96 murders a year in Japan, as opposed to about 15 000 a year in the U.S.),

You gave one name, from a case 30 years ago... balanced against 10 names in the same period. I have no problem justifying the death penalty.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No tears anywhere for these evil individuals - they have killed and ruined so many lives. Rest in Peace to the poor innocent victims.

It is not up to us to impose our values on the Japanese over this issue: I would imagine the majority of Japanese are very strong in supporting hangings of the worst kind of criminals. Sadly I doubt the J-Govt will ever have the cojones to make Asahara swing - they are likely worried even 2 decades later that he has too many nutjob supporters who may launch another terrorist attack. I hope I am wrong.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

International advocacy groups say the system is cruel because death row inmates can wait for their executions for many years in solitary confinement and are only told of their impending death a few hours ahead of time.

Boohoo. These people deserve to have their lives taken from them. Give a thought for the innocent people who suffered death by their hands without warning!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Patrick SmashFeb. 21, 2013 - 08:58PM JST Frungy, you're arguing in favour of life imprisonment for dangerous criminals too. I'm not against that one.

If "life imprisonment" truly meant life, then I woudl be arguing for that. But instead it means 20 years. A 30 year old murderer would be out by age 50, and still capable of murder. "Life" imprisonment isn't for life. Nor would I argue that it should be, that would be cruel and inhumane, to cage an individual for life. Better a swift clean death than 60 or 70 years of imprisonment.

I gave you 3 names of wrongly convicted murderers, 2 of whom were discovered in the last year or so. You think it would have been fine to kill those 3 men because releasing dangerous people leads to more crime?

Toshikazu Sugaya, Govinda Mainali - Not given the death penalty. Check your facts. Now, can you restore their lost years of life in prison? No? I thought not. Life is not something that can be restored, either in whole or in part. Does this mean that prison sentences should be abolished? No. Your logic is as faulty as eating 10 doughnuts, but refusing to eat the last because it would be "greedy".

That's a weird argument. Would you offer your own life up for that one?

No, mine is a logical argument based on the greatest good for the greatest number of people. What is yours based on, the "last dougnut" theory of morality? Don't be so ridiculous.

You ask if I would give my life for the safety of others? Yes. I would appeal if I was really innocent, but I would go to my death with my only regret being that the real murderer still could kill. I would ask you though, will you go out in the streets and campaign for a fairer, more transparent, more just justice system in Japan? I'm not asking you to give your life, just a little of your time, and the relatively small risk of being denied a visa renewal for rocking the boat.

Post pictures to Japan Today, I'm sure they'd run the story.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I am proud in Australia it is now written into our constitution the death penalty will never be reinstated. To many innocent people have and still are executed and it is proven it is not a deterrent.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

it is now written into our constitution the death penalty will never be reinstated

.Sorry to have to break it to you Jeremy, but you`re wrong. Yes, in 2010 the Krudd Government did exercise its power to pass a statute "abolishing" the death penalty however this is something any future government could easily scrap. The Australian Constitution itself makes no mention of the death penalty and it is hard to imagine a Federal Government attempting to write into the Australian Constitution something the states, with their many vestigial powers would likely robustly resist.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr.Patric Smash, Absolutely, I knew many innocent prisoners at old time. But I think, we have to separate problem of a false charge and death penalty. And now, there’re very few these false charge problems in Japan due to progress of science force. Therefore current judges are really accurate.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Patrick SmashFeb. 21, 2013 - 10:58PM JST It is you saying that all convicted murderers should be executed in case they are released and reoffend, so you would like to have seen those 3 innocent men killed.

No, I did not. Check my posts. In my most recent post I made no statement about executing all murderers, just pointed out that the number of murderers who reoffend is less than the number of murderers who are released and then murder again. Yes, errors are made, but more lives are saved by the current system, despite its inadequecies, than are lost to it.

In the post before that I wrote:

FrungyFeb. 21, 2013 - 03:55PM JST Extreme murderers such as those executed in Japan show much higher recidivism rates, and 22.5% of this category of offenders are likely to murder again within 3 years.

The category of people who are executed are the most likely to reoffend. When you take this into account the saving in lives is immense.

We live in an imperfect world. The reality is that had these 3 people executed been released after their 20 years of "life" imprisonment at least one of them would have killed again within 3 years, maybe one person, maybe a dozen people. That is sure. Maybe one of them was innocent, possibly, perhaps, but that wrong is balanced against the person who would have been murdered.

Is it perfect? No. Is it better than the alternative you want? Yes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Here's something to add to this topic:

Check out what the guy in the TYT has to say about this issue. I completely agree with him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Sy8jU6sS4

1 ( +1 / -0 )

good riddens

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And now, there’re very few these false charge problems in Japan due to progress of science force. Therefore current judges are really accurate

Yeah, tell that to the Nepalese guy who spent 15 years or so in prison because the police were too lazy to check forensic evidence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In most western nations, they are hopeful for criminals for correction and re-education for becoming good guys. It cost the fortunes and too much time.

In today economic environment, they are parasite which are burdening the society. Japan have to follow the singapore model for touch with the criminals. Not pampering them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Hang them higher! Everyone who complains about the death penalty hasn't lost a loved one yet! Don't worry! You will learn it sooner or later (probably). Then you will understand.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

ActuallyCGB spender i have lost a loved one to murder, never cared what they did with the murderer. i let justice takes its course, revenge is for the Dark Ages.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Hehehehehe "International advocacy groups say the system is cruel " include the Human Rights group too. Cruel my foot. hehehe How about the cruelty they have done to their victims who are now ashes and buried. The International advocacy group have no rights to meddle in this type of situation. MURDERS.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Urrghhh, such psychopath people. I pity their victims....

I want to say "NO, don't kill them people can change"....but when I think about it they've done something that can never be undone - the life of their innocent victims - only because of their mood. It is the law that punishes a man.

Well these 3 are better off dead anyway.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@ letsberealistic

Killing people in the name of the state is not moral development. Tell me why every other developed and civilized nations abolished the death penalty two generations ago!

The death penalty is currently utilized by 58 countries around the world. I personally feel that the death penalty should be used, if you take a life, you sacrifice your own. But until someone discovers a perfect justice system incapable of falsely convicting innocent people I can't support it...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Capital punishment should apply only to corporations.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I lost best friend of 20 years who was murdered in front of me, stabbed in heart by a man who had been released from prison 1 week before for manslaughter after serving a 2 year sentence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We really believe Hanging should be abolished..In its place a Firing Squad of 5 gumen should be used..Our reasoning for this is there has to be some sort of Guilt feeling by the Gent that pulls the leaver..If 5 Gunmen are used no one really knows whose gun had the real Bullet..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bravo. Tired of tax dollars supporting these killers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This is barbaric. I am surprised that a civilised society still allows the death penalty. Living with the crime incarcerated is much better punishment than the sweet release of death for these prisoners. They should be made to serve LIFE in prison. That would be punishment and justice.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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