Japan executes three prisoners on death row, first since 2019

Mr Furukawa announced after the killings that they had been authorized after giving careful deliberations again and again

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Famio-kishida
(Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno - Pool/Getty Images)

In Japan, three death row convicts were executed, making it the country’s first executions since 2019.

Yasutaka Fujishiro, Tomoaki Takanezawa, and Mitsunori Onogawa were identified as the three inmates reportedly hanged.

Fujishiro, 65, was found guilty in 2004 of murdering seven relatives. Takanezawa, 54, and Onogawa, 44, were tried and convicted in 2003 of murdering two employees at two different pachinko parlors, according to the AFP news agency.

Fujishiro was sentenced to death in 2009, but his sentence was not completed until 2015 by the Supreme Court. Takanezawa’s death sentence was completed in July 2005, while Onogawa’s was completed in June 2009.

According to Amnesty International, the death penalty has been suspended in two-thirds of the world’s countries. Nevertheless, there are approximately 107 more death row prisoners in Japan.

Yoshihisa Furukawa, the Justice Minister who approved the executions on Tuesday, had previously indicated that the death sentence could not be averted for offences with significant consequences.

Mr Furukawa announced after the killings that they had been authorized after giving careful deliberations again and again, according to The Japan Times.

Seiji Kihara, the deputy chief cabinet secretary, told journalists at a different media briefing that it was “not right to abolish [the country’s death penalty system] taking into account the current scenario in which horrendous crimes occur frequently.”

These were the first executions since Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came into office in October.

The last time an executions we carried out was in 2019, when three death-row prisoners were put to death. In 2018, 15 prisoners were killed, including 13 from the Aum Shinrikyo cult, who carried out a devastating sarin gas assassination on the Tokyo subway in 1995.

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