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New justice minister vague on whether he'll issue orders to resume executions

13 Comments

New Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa has indicated that he may be planning to resume issuing orders for executions, but added that he is unlikely to sign any such orders soon.

Ogawa's remarks, made at his first news conference on Friday night, come at a time when Japan's total number of death row inmates has risen to 129.

Last year, there were no executions in Japan. The last execution in Japan was in July 2010 when then justice minister Keiko Chiba, a former lawyer, approved the hanging of two inmates, despite her long-time opposition to the death penalty.

In an unusual move, Chiba attended the executions and later allowed the media to visit the execution chamber at the Tokyo Detention House in a bid to increase public debate over the death penalty.

Ogawa said ordering executions is a tough thing to do, but it is part of his duty nonetheless, NHK reported. He said that just increasing the number of inmates on death row with no executions would be contrary to the spirit of the law.

However, Ogawa said that he would most likely not issue execution orders in the near future for any of the 13 members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult on death row. Following the arrest of former Aum fugitive Makoto Hirata and his accomplice Akemi Saito who turned themselves in, Ogawa said that investigators may need to hear testimony from Aum inmates in their case, NHK reported.

Apart from the United States, Japan is the only major industrialized democracy to carry out capital punishment, a practice that has earned Tokyo repeat protests from European governments and human rights groups.

© Japan Today

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13 Comments
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This dude can be vague all he wants, but if people, evil criminals DO NOT HANG for their crimes, then he should not be in this position, the one great thing I love about Japan is the death penalty.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

However, Ogawa said that he would most likely not issue execution orders in the near future for any of the 13 members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult on death row. Following the arrest of former Aum fugitive Makoto Hirata and his accomplice Akemi Saito who turned themselves in, Ogawa said that investigators may need to hear testimony from Aum inmates in their case, NHK reported.

No justice and no closure any time soon for the victims of the Aum Shinrikyo crazies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan needs to learn how to be more efficient, like over in China. Next door they don't shy away from serving the death penalty,right??

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Japan needs to learn how to be more efficient, like over in China.

First you love Japan for the death penalty, then you suggest they should be more like China.

Why not move to China and enjoy the efficiency up close? You don't have to live here if they are not doing it right.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

As long as Japan has death penalty, his job is to get it done. Once they abolish it the problem will be over, but for now his job is to make sure the penalty they were given is finalized.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan could do well to hang 'em all so they aren't a burden on society. Can't believe I wrote that, but with 7billion humans, life is cheap. Just be SURE they are guilty.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

An eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth. If death is the given punishment for the crime committed, so be it done. Human rights group.....naaaaahhhhh they only fight for the rights of the convicted to be executed. How about the rights of the victims

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Japanese system is extremely cruel since the prisoners are never told exactly when it will happen. I was shocked when I first heard that. Also they should use a more humaine method than hanging. Kiling people by forcing them to break their own necks is disgusting.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Only two major industrialized countries with the death penalty"? Does the Republic of Korea (South Korea) have capitol punishment in their code? Meanwhile, may I recommend a tour for the new Justice Minister to Texas and Florida?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

His duty is to sign the death warrants, thats it; not to consider the ramifications of capital punishment. These political hacks should be taken out of the process and left to the judges...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Aum Leader Asahara needs his Final Neck adjustment,And Aleph Needs to see Him Swinging before they get the idea it's O.K. to commit mass murder!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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