JAPAN. 3 DEATH ROW INMATES EXECUTED
April 27, 2007: Three death row inmates were executed at detention centers in Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. The executions brought the number of death row convicts who have been executed since Justice Minister Jinen Nagase assumed his post last September to seven. It is extremely rare that death row prisoners are hanged during a Diet session, which is currently in place.
The three are Masahiro Tanaka, 42, who had been detained at Tokyo Detention Center, Kosaku Nada, 56, at the Osaka Detention Center and Yoshikatsu Oda, 59 at the Fukuoka Detention Center, according to sources close to judicial authorities.
Tanaka was convicted of murdering four people, including his aunt, in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Kagawa and Tokushima prefectures between 1984 and 1991. Nada was found guilty of killing the wife of a colleague and her child in Hyogo Prefecture in January 1983. Oda was sentenced to death for murdering a man and a woman in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1990 in a bid to collect the benefits of life insurance policies taken out on them.
Government sources said executions of death row inmates are usually avoided during Diet sessions because the justice minister is busy handling bills being debated and for fear that executions could adversely affect Diet deliberations on bills.
However, Justice Minister Nagase chose to order the executions of the three even though the Diet is in session because the number of death row inmates has sharply risen to over 100, government sources said. The executions reduce the number to 99. (Sources: Mainichi, 27/04/2007)