Japan executes three persons on death row, first since December 2019
Tokyo, Dec 21: Japan on Tuesday executed three people who were on death row, marking the first time the death penalty was carried out under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government, Kyodo news agency reported. This also marks the first time the death penalty that was carried out by the Japanese government since Dec. 26, 2019.
The country executed three inmates in 2019 and 15 in 2018 -- including 13 from the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out a fatal 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.
One death-row inmate had been convicted of ramming a car into a train station and then knifing people nearby, killing five, in 1999. Another killed two people in 2001, and the third condemned prisoner killed three in 2002. Reports said the men were executed at three different prisons.
Capital punishment is usually ordered only for inmates convicted of multiple murders. Japan has 132 death row convicts, which is near its highest level since World War II.
Japan, along with the United States, is one of the few industrialised countries that still has capital punishment.
All executions in Japan are carried out by hanging. Inmates on death row do not know when they will be executed until the last minute, while family members and lawyers are only told afterwards.
The lack of transparency in the system has been criticised by rights groups such as Amnesty International and the main Japanese bar association. But capital punishment is generally supported by the public, according to opinion polls.