Japan executes three prisoners on death row, first since 2019

There are about 107 more inmates on death row in Japan

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 21 December 2021 19:06
Comments
<p>Japan hanged three death row inmates on Tuesday, the first under prime minister Fumio Kishida</p>

Japan hanged three death row inmates on Tuesday, the first under prime minister Fumio Kishida

Three death row inmates have been hanged in Japan, in the country’s first executions since 2019.

They were identified as Yasutaka Fujishiro, Tomoaki Takanezawa and Mitsunori Onogawa.

Fujishiro, 65, was convicted for killing seven relatives in 2004. Takanezawa, 54, and Onogawa, 44, were convicted for killing two employees at two separate pachinko parlours in 2003, reported AFP news agency.

While Fujishiro was sentenced to death in 2009, his sentence was only finalised in the Supreme Court in 2015. Takanezawa’s death penalty was finalised in July 2005 and Onogawa’s in June 2009.

Two-thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty, according to Amnesty International. But in Japan, there are about 107 more inmates on the death row.

Justice minister Yoshihisa Furukawa, who ordered Tuesday’s executions, had said earlier that the death penalty could not be avoided for crimes that have serious consequences.

After the executions, Mr Furukawa said that they had been ordered “after giving careful considerations again and again”, reported The Japan Times.

In a separate press conference, deputy chief cabinet secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters it was “not appropriate to abolish [the country’s death penalty system] considering the current situation in which heinous crimes continue to occur”.

These executions were the first under prime minister Fumio Kishida, who took office in October.

They were last carried out in 2019, when three death-row inmates were executed. Before that, 15 inmates – including 13 from the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out a fatal sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 – were executed in 2018.

In the last year, 483 people were executed in 18 countries across the world, according to Amnesty International. However, this does not include data from China, North Korea and Vietnam, where such executions data is not available in the public domain.

Of the G7 countries, Japan and US are the only members that still have the death penalty.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in