Japan: Resumption of executions and ill-treatment of prisoners on death row
In March 1993 three men were executed, Tachikawa Shujiro, Kawanaka Tetsuo and Kondo Seikichi, ending a de facto moratorium on executions since 1989. Kawanaka Testsuo, who had been on death row for 13 years, suffered from mental illness, and his lawyer had been preparing to apply for a retrial. Executions are carried out in secret, and are not announced to either the family or the lawyers of the prisoners. There is further concern at the ill-treatment of prisoners on death row, who are subject to strict segregation in prison, and are allowed only limited contact with the outside world. They also may not always receive necessary medical attention. Two cases of acquittal after a retrial, Akahori Masao and Shimogami Norio, are also described.