Japan executes two death row inmates

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Tokyo, March 25: Japanese authorities on Friday hanged two death row inmates, bringing the total number of executions carried out by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to 16.

Yasutoshi Kamata, 74, was found guilty of murdering four women and a nine-year-old girl in Osaka between 1985 and 1994, EFE news reported.

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Junko Yoshida, a former nurse, was sentenced to death in 2010 for murdering two men in Kurume on the island of Kyushu in the southwest of the country.

In this case, with the help of three co-workers, she orchestrated the murders of two of their husbands to collect the life insurance money and split it among themselves.

Previous executions in Japan -- the only industrialised country other than the US to maintain the death penalty -- took place on December 18, 2015, when two men were hanged after being convicted of multiple murders committed between 2006 and 2009.

Humanitarian organisations regularly pressure Tokyo to abolish the death penalty while the government insists that the debate is not necessary given the overwhelming support in the country, which surveys have put at around 80 percent.

IANS

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