Three convicted multiple murderers have been hanged in Japan, marking its first executions in almost two years.
The move puts Japan back alongside the United States as the only leading developed nations to carry out the death penalty.
The hangings at separate jails were authorised by Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa. Official figures indicate over 80 percent of Japanese people are in favour of capital punishment.
“The death penalty is supported by the Japanese people,” Ogawa said. “It is also supported through people’s participation in jury trials. As such, I will continue to do my legal duty as justice minister.”
Despite the delay between executions, there has been no formal moratorium on capital punishment in Japan. Today’s news has angered and disappointed anti- death penalty campaigners who had hoped the current government in Tokyo would end the practice.
More than 100 people are said to remain on death row in Japanese jails.
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