Less than two months after the last executions, two Japanese inmates on death row were hung on September 27, including one woman. Such a quick decision has sparked controversy regarding an increase in the pace of capital punishment in the country.
This latest execution occurred just after August 3rd with three other executions held in March, bringing the total to seven killed under Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s leadership. Compared to previous executions, the pace for the recent executions is fast but apparently normal. Ryohei Hyashi, head of the National Association of Crime Victims and Surviving Families, has commented that the pace of judges handing out executions is normal but the small numbers of death row inmates and executions is considered abnormal. Japan usually decides who gets the death penalty by following a strict guideline of criteria. Inmates receive a notice of execution on the day of its occurrence, leaving them to their own thoughts of whether they will live for a retrial or be able to walk into the outside world again. This also leaves lawyers at a loss because there is no time to fill out the necessary paperwork to request a retrial.
Japan’s support for capital punishment is incredibly strong with 85% of the Japanese public support the death penalty when it comes to certain cases. The idea of telling inmates about their execution on the day of is pretty twisted as there is no time for acceptance and one is spent years wondering what will happen to them. Japan’s methods are questionable but it is a matter they must solve for themselves.