crime

New justice minister to 'respect courts' on death penalty

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Kamikawa also said her ministry will provide thorough training to police and other agencies on the application of a controversial law enacted earlier this year to punish the planning of a range of crimes.

Why is it that I find it hard to believe that anyone is going to get any training worth mentioning, and this law is going to be arbitrarily used?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

"The death penalty is an extremely serious punishment that ends a person's life, and I feel we must approach its use with the most cautious of attitudes," Kamikawa said at her first press conference after her cabinet appointment.

Or ditch it. The death penalty is barbaric and archaic. In any country.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The death penalty is barbaric

so are the people who are put to death. people who commit atrocious crimes deserve the most extreme penalty the state can mete out. and

if this is your only grievance againtst the death penalty then it's quite a weak argument.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

To kill a person regardless of crime is just repeating the "evil" circle! I cannot think what it would be like to sit on a death row!:( Just waiting nervously to end your life by hanging, without even the slightest chance to improve your human "sense". It's like you have several Julius Caesars sitting and turning their thumbs either down or up, playing with the inmate's life! We live in the 21.century, not in the age of barbarians.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Talk about having her head in the sand.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kamikawa also said her ministry will provide thorough training to police and other agencies on the application of a controversial law enacted earlier this year to punish the planning of a range of crimes.

Here we are, and let's not forget that here the justice appears running for the state and will never go against the state interest

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Am I the only one feeling uneasiness at how old all those ministers are? "New" would be nice to be in 30s, without the past century's mindset the 50-60 year olds bring with them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

At the same time, this is a country ruled by laws

Laws which are routinely ignored. Is the "justice" minister aware of prosecutors fabricating evidence, withholding inconvenient evidence, forced confessions etc.? Given that such behaviour is endemic in the Japanese "justice" system, how can she be confident that those convicted of a crime are actually guilty?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I've always thought making criminals who've committed horrible crimes live out the rest of their days in near solitude behind bars till they die was far more punishing than the death penalty.

I really don't see the need for a death penalty in the 21st century, especially in a country with the living conditions of Japan, that said i don't think the prison system is a great way of reforming people either.

Often in many cases people come out of the system more criminalized than reformed and with the advent of privately run prisons conflicts of interest become an increasingly common issue.

Japan's stance seems to reek of the usual this is what the older generation think so lets just maintain the status quo, or its too hard to actually change something so just let it fester like a infected wound until it goes septic.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Good on her! The death penalty is reserved for the truly heinous criminals, those who sincerely deserve it. The oboy problem with the death penalty here is that it takes so long to carry out! If someone spends decades on death row it sort of takes the meaning out of a death penalty. It needs to be done within a week of sentencing

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

99% conviction rate... by probability math alone there are innocence men and woman on death row right now :(

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The West has been infected with soft liberalism. EU member states are not allowed the death penalty. Fortunately the UK voted to abandon that stupidity and leave. After which many will be pushing for the return of the death penalty.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

@Zed Phillips

Indeed. The EU is a death penalty "dessert", as you'd say....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The West has been infected with soft liberalism. EU member states are not allowed the death penalty. Fortunately the UK voted to abandon that stupidity and leave. After which many will be pushing for the return of the death penalty.

Nah, Brexit will not see the UK return to the values of theocracies, dictatorships and banana republics. This filthy idea was finally abolished at around the same time the UK passed anti-discrimination laws and decriminalized homosexuality. Progress.

I'm sure the UK won't rejoin the likes of Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, Somalia and North Korea.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A medieval justice system, 99% conviction rate, as others have mentioned police concocting evidence, pathetic investigation skills, forced admissions of guilt, prosecutors withholding evidence. And a sick desire for vengeance from these ministers who's last brush with education 5 or more decades ago. The only bright side is these death row inmates after years of mental torture might actually be exonerated, released in such a disturbed state they might as well be dead. Many don't get a fair trail are murdered by the state and people don't care because they didn't know them personally and get all their information or lack of from NHK and Co.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

so are the people who are put to death

You mean *so are some of the people who are put to death*. There is far too much scope for wrongful conviction and the possibility of people being put down for crimes they are not guilty of, and even if you hold the view that 'bad people deserve to die', there is no justification for the death penalty. It is barbaric.

if this is your only grievance againtst the death penalty then it's quite a weak argument.

It's a pretty strong argument. I object to paying taxes for the state to kill in my name. It is barbaric.

EU member states are not allowed the death penalty. Fortunately the UK voted to abandon that stupidity and leave.

The EU chooses not to have the death penalty. The UK abolished capital punishment in 1964, the UK became a member of the EEC (precursor to the EU) in 1973. Being in Europe did not affect the UK stance on the death penalty, and Brexit will not affect British views on judicial murder, namely that it has no place in a modern, civilised society.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@cleo

I pray you're right. But I don't trust 95% of those in the Commons....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm against the death penalty because innocent people are sentenced to death. Nothing she said will change that since she will respect the same courts that have been sentencing innocent people to death.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

so are the people who are put to death. people who commit atrocious crimes deserve the most extreme penalty the state can mete out

An eye for an eye belongs to a less enlightened age. It is out of kilter with the world. Aren't there bloody conflicts enough, waged against countries because of the barbaric acts some of their citizens/governments commit?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At the same time, this is a country ruled by laws

That is probably the biggest joke I have ever heard from a minister of his government.

Seriously, does she really believe what she says?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An eye for an eye belongs to a less enlightened age.

And what "age" would that be? enlightened? Sorry to tell you it will never happen as long as there is God or money involved.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The death penalty is an extremely serious punishment that ends a person's life, and I feel we must approach its use with the most cautious of attitudes. - Kamikawa

I'm all for the death penalty, but based on her above statement, does she believe the most cautious of attitudes are being used when prisoner's are surprised with the news that they will be executed in the coming hours? Seems a bit contradictory.

The death penalty is barbaric.

Compared to the way the victims' lives were taken by these convicted killers, I'd argue it's actually quite humane.

To kill a person regardless of crime is just repeating the "evil" circle! I cannot think what it would be like to sit on a death row!:( Just waiting nervously to end your life by hanging, without even the slightest chance to improve your human "sense". It's like you have several Julius Caesars sitting and turning their thumbs either down or up, playing with the inmate's life! We live in the 21.century, not in the age of barbarians.

Actually, no - it's ending the circle. Normal, decent people don't have to think what it would be like to sit on death row, because they wouldn't be committing crimes atrocious enough to find them in that position. People have time to improve their human "sense" every day of their life. You act as if those on death wrong are there for minor infractions, such as shoplifting food because hungry. If they were so concerned about improving their human "sense", they wouldn't have committed the crimes they were convicted of doing. Most people in this world get by just fine without ever committing murder(s) or worse. For those that do, seems they need a Julius Caesar turning thumbs down - and yes, playing with the inmate's life, just as the convicted inmate played with the life of the victim(s).

Often in many cases people come out of the system more criminalized than reformed.

I can guarantee you this isn't a problem with death penalty recipients.

99% conviction rate... by probability math alone there are innocence men and woman on death row right now.

You win some, you lose some.

Those of you who are against the death penalty, I wonder if you share the same feeling if the rapist, torturer and killer of your mother, wife and daughter were to be convicted but then released because of a clerical mistake with double jeopardy attached. It's just life goes on, oh well, better luck next time?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Her job as a member of the Diet is to pass laws. So saying that she will follow the instructions of the court as if she has no choice in the matter is both true and at the same time not the full truth. If she were opposed to the death penalty she could, as a member of the Diet, submit a bill to change the law.

I suspect that the LDP is a bit sick of their Justice Ministers not executing people though, and is now only choosing people who will definitely sign the execution orders.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As you put it, Andy, "You win some, you lose some."

All fair and okay now?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

99% conviction rate... by probability math alone there are innocence men and woman on death row right now.

You win some, you lose some.

Sick.

We are talking about human lives here, not a flutter on the horses.

You tell the mother, father, wife, husband or child of an innocent person murdered by the state 'you win some, you lose some'.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I wonder if you share the same feeling if the rapist, torturer and killer of your mother, wife and daughter were to be convicted but then released because of a clerical mistake

The only choice is between killing someone and letting them off scot free?

Get real. And grow up.

Normal, decent people don't have to think what it would be like to sit on death row

A Japanese man who has spent more than 45 years on death row has been freed after a court ordered a retrial in his murder case, amid suggestions that police investigators fabricated evidence against him

Japanese man freed after 45 years on death row as court orders retrial | World news | The Guardian

A steady stream of wrongful convictions has been revealed in recent years, including Sugaya Toshikazu, Yanagihara Hiroshi, Govinda Mainali, Sakurai Shoji, and Sugiyama Takao

Wrongful Convictions and the Culture of Denial in Japanese Criminal Justice | The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus

4 ( +4 / -0 )

 I'd argue it's actually quite humane.

Is it so? Could you then elaborate on how you find inflicting a death panality by hanging a person (which happens to be a criminal but still a person) anywhere close to be qualified as humane?

I find quite deplorable that people can't make the distinction between the criminals and the society which has to deal with them. Yes you can argue with the highest primitive feeling that people who have committed horrible crimes have no right to live anymore. And it's totally reasonable to think that the families and friends of the victims of these criminals will think that way. Revenge is a primitive feeling after all.

But that's not how a civilized society should think. How a society could be qualified mature, civilized and reasonable if it basically behaves like its criminals which by the way it has inherently contributed to create?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is it so? Could you then elaborate on how you find inflicting a death panality by hanging a person (which happens to be a criminal but still a person) anywhere close to be qualified as humane?

Easily. The convicted person on death row has done something so much above and beyond your garden variety murder. Maybe there were multiple victims or a family. Or very gruesome acts (rape, torture, murder). Or a serial killer. Or whatever.

So you take that piece of garbage, you look at their body of work - you actually think about the victims, the misery and agony they experienced, and how this animal did not give a passing thought at their pain and suffering. You think of the victim's family and loved ones and the loss they feel.

And then I could honestly care less if this human excrement is hung, gassed, electrocuted, drowned, or chained to a horse and dragged 100km.

You sound like the type of person who thinks the 9/11 hijackers deserve leniency or to be better understood, regardless of the bodycount inter wake.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Andy

Hanged

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The convicted person on death row has done something so much above and beyond your garden variety murder.

Not necessarily. Did you bother to look at the links I gave?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

daito_hak

The society you want to live in is one where everyone gets a scolding, a slap on the wrist and then goes home after giving a promise to never do it again - regardless of the crime. Drunk driver runs over an old lady crossing the street, no problem, jail sentence and released. Guy feels like raping a girl walking down a dark alley, no big deal, she'll get over it with counseling - put him in jail until he repents, release and everyone is back to normal. Terrorist blows up a market, it's ok. Market can be rebuilt, new stock sold again. Prison sentence and tell him bad boy and let him go after some time to do it again.

But whatever you do - regardless of body count, regardless of whether the criminal played SAW 1-5 torture on his victims, he is NOT so bad as to deserve to die. Society owes everyone their life regardless of how many lives they take away.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The common ploy of politicians in Japan and in the West recently has been to use women to head the nastier departments of government, as a patent PR move to put a "sweet" and "soft" face (Inada Tomomi) on a ministry that takes hard measures that can cost lives, although Kamikawa looks to be an exception.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You sound like the type of person who thinks the 9/11 hijackers deserve leniency or to be better understood, regardless of the bodycount inter wake.

I would appreciate you don't try to determine what people think or don't think since given your way of expressing yourself, you don't seem to have the rational capacity to do that. So refrain to do it please.

The society you want to live in is one where everyone gets a scolding, a slap on the wrist and then goes home after giving a promise to never do it again - regardless of the crime.

Ridiculous assertion that makes no sense. I defy you to find in anything that I wrote where you could accuse me of saying that criminals should not be punished accordingly to their crimes. And in fact nobody on Earth is claiming that. Nobody. So don't try to put words on people's mouth, would you?

Dangerous people who commit serious crimes are condemned severely with life improsonment in any civilized country ruled by law. Try to name such a country which also happens not to inflict capital punishment but somehow just "slap on the wrist" of people for doing serious crimes. You can't because there isn't. Now the difference though is that those countries have made the immense intellectual effort to understand that behaving as barbarians is not a response to even the most cruel and savage crimes done by humans. This intellectual effort is not being done by Japan and the other countries inflicting capital punishment, and it certainly not done by you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are lots of reasons to be against the death penalty :

Killing someone is forbidden by law, so why would the state have that right ?

Death penalty is reducing ourselves to the same level as the murderer.

Executing a murderer is revenge. Justice is not the same thing as revenge.

By executing a murderer, you take away any chance of closure : the chance for the murderer to show remorse and apologize, as well as the chance for the victim's family to get understanding and forgive.

Justice can make mistake, and execute an innocent man.

It doesn't reduce crime.

It is arbitrary.

It actually costs more than imprisonment.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

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