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|Dear Andrew,Yesterday, Thursday 29 March, Japan carried out its first executions in nearly two years.
Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa authorised the hanging of three men on death row, saying it was part of his duty as a minister. Neither of his predecessors had signed any execution warrants. As far as were concerned, a leaders responsibility is to address crime without resorting to this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
Ask Japans Justice Minister not to sign any more execution warrants
By resuming executions, Japan has taken a massive step backwards.
2011 was the first year in 19 that Japan didnt execute – a development we welcomed just three days ago in our annual report on the use of capital punishment around the world.
Japan appeared to have joined the global trend towards abolition by taking steps to move away from the use of capital punishment. Today, 57 countries around the world retain capital punishment, and in 2011 just 20 of those used the death penalty. Japan has now placed itself back in the minority of countries that use this cruel inhuman and degrading punishment.
The men hanged this week were:
- Tomoyuki Furusawa, 46, executed in Tokyo
- Yasutoshi Matsuda, 44, executed in Fukuoka
- Yasuaki Uwabe, 48, executed in Hiroshima. His lawyer had raised concerns about his poor mental health before his trial.
There mustnt be any others. Please call on Japans justice minister to stop signing execution warrants and protect the lives of the 130 people sitting on Japans death row.
Stop executions in Japan – send your message now
Death Penalty Campaign Manager