Japan: Executions show absence of leadership

Following the executions of Junya Hattori and Kyozo Matumura in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka this morning, Roseann Rife, Head of Special Projects at Amnesty International said:

“The Japanese authorities’ decision to carry out two more executions is extremely regrettable.

“After carrying out no executions in 2011, Japan has put five people to death this year firmly reestablishing itself in the minority of countries who still use capital punishment.

“Makoto Taki is the second Minister of Justice to authorize executions in 2012 – Japan’s leadership are choosing to hide behind public opinion rather than demonstrate leadership and work towards the abolition of this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”