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Thursday, 11th April 2013
In General Japan News,

Amnesty International 'shocked' at return of death penalty in Japan

Amnesty International has said that it was "shocking" that the death penalty was re-introduced to Japan last year.

It returned in March and ten people have been killed as a result of the crimes that they committed. Capital punishment was brought back by the Democratic Party of Japan-led government despite it having a justice minister who appeared to be keen on the idea of abolishing the death penalty.

Amnesty International said that there was also a strong concern that there had been resumptions of executions in India, Pakistan and Gambia.

The top five countries for capital punishment were revealed in a 60-page report titled Death Sentences and Executions in 2012. There were almost 700 executions around the world in 2012, with China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US having the most.

The Japan Times reports Amnesty International campaigner Chiara Sangiorgio as saying that it was "possible to draw a link" between Japan re-introducing executions last year and the fact that the governing party needed to do well in a December poll.

She added that it was also a worry that the Liberal Democratic Party-led government had since followed on with the same policy as it oversaw three death penalties in February.

Salil Shetty, secretary general of Amnesty International, noted: "The regression we saw in some countries this year was disappointing, but it does not reverse the worldwide trend against using the death penalty. In many parts of the world, executions are becoming a thing of the past.

"Only one in ten countries in the world carries out executions. Their leaders should ask themselves why they are still applying a cruel and inhumane punishment that the rest of the world is leaving behind."

He went on to say that governments which still use executions are "running out of arguments" to justify themselves. "There is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that the death penalty works as a special deterrent against crime."

Written by Mark Smith