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JAPAN HANGS TWO MORE ON DEATH ROW

October 28, 2008: Japan hanged two more death-row inmates as the country steps up executions to a pace unseen in three decades, despite an ongoing UN review of its rights record.
The country, which has one of the world's lowest crime rates, is the only major industrial nation other than the United States to use the death penalty. Its use is widely supported among the Japanese public.
Today's executions were the first since conservative Prime Minister Taro Aso took office last month.
"The executions were carried out after we repeatedly gave full, cautious and appropriate consideration," Justice Minister Eisuke Mori told reporters.
Today's hangings brought to 15 the number of people executed this year, the highest total since 1975 when Japanese authorities hanged 17 people.
The executed inmates were Michitoshi Kuma, 70, and Masahiro Takashio, 55, the justice ministry said.
Kuma was convicted of kidnapping and killing two girls, both seven, in 1992 in western Fukuoka prefecture. Takashio stabbed an elderly woman and her daughter to death in northern Fukushima prefecture in 2004 to get money.
Mori denied that Japan was trying to speed up the pace of executions.
"I did not take the timing or space (in between executions) into account at all," he said.
Following the latest executions, Japan has 101 inmates on death row.
Under Japanese law, the justice minister must sign off on every execution. At the time of his appointment as justice minister, Mori said he would "solemnly carry out" his duties on the death penalty.
Japan had a de facto moratorium on executions for 15 months until 2006 because the then justice minister, Seiken Sugiura, said the death penalty went against his Buddhist beliefs.
Last year, Japan executed nine convicted killers. (Sources: AFP, 28/10/2008)

TANZANIA: 286 INMATES ON DEATH ROW AS GOVERNMENT RECEIVES VIEWS ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
SOMALI STONED TO DEATH WAS 13-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM, GROUP SAYS
SAUDI BEHEADED FOR RAPE
DEATH PENALTY STILL STANDS IN BOTSWANA, SAYS KHAMA
INDIA: ANTONY COMMUTES DEATH PENALTY OF JAWAN
UZBEK PARLIAMENT CONSIDERS INTL PROTOCOL ON DEATH ABOLISHMENT
CHINA: FORMER BEIJING COURT PRESIDENT GIVEN SUSPENDED DEATH SENTENCE FOR BRIBERY
IRAN: JUVENILE HANGED FOR MURDER
TEXAS (USA). MAN EXECUTED FOR RAPE, MURDER OF 7-YEAR-OLD GIRL
JAPAN APPLIES DEATH PENALTY AT HIGHEST RATE SINCE 1975
IRAQI MILITANT TO HANG FOR KILLING OF U.S. SOLDIERS
WOMAN STONED IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA
IRAN HANGS TWO FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
GEORGIA (USA). LAST-MINUTE REPRIEVE FOR DEATH ROW INMATE
SUDAN: SUPREME COURT REJECTS DEATH SENTENCE APPEAL
DEATH PENALTY. HANDS OFF CAIN- IRAN SECOND IN GLOBAL EXECUTIONS
UN CRITICISES N KOREA FOR HOLDING PUBLIC EXECUTIONS
CHINESE VICE MAYOR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TAKING BRIBES
SAUDI BEHEADED FOR BEATING HIS WIFE TO DEATH
SAUDI ARABIA BEHEADS TWO MEN CONVICTED OF MURDER
AFGHAN REPORTER'S DEATH SENTENCE REPLACED WITH 20 YEARS
INDONESIAN COURT REJECTS BALI BOMBERS' REQUEST FOR BEHEADING
TEXAS MAN EXECUTED FOR BURGLARY-SLAYING
IRAN. A MAN HANGED IN PUBLIC IN NORTHERN PROVINCE OF GILAN
YEMEN: DEATH SENTENCE CONFIRMED
US SUPREME COURT ASKED TO REVIEW BLACK PANTHER DEATH SENTENCE
IRAN HANGS FOUR FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
CHINA. FORMER BEIJING VICE MAYOR GIVEN SUSPENDED DEATH PENALTY FOR BRIBERY
IRAN BANS EXECUTION OF MINORS FOR DRUG-RELATED CRIMES
UGANDA. WOMAN AND MAID TO HANG FOR KILLING HUSBAND

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