16 September 2005 :a man convicted of robbing, raping and killing two women in the 1980s was executed, Japan's first hanging of the year.
Justice Ministry spokesman Yuji Nagao confirmed the execution of one prisoner but refused to provide more details. Kyodo News agency and national broadcaster NHK said the 58-year-old prisoner, Susumu Kitagawa, was executed at a prison in Osaka.
Kitagawa was convicted of killing an 18-year-old woman in 1983 and a 24-year-old woman in 1989, stealing money from both his victims, NHK reported. Kyodo also said he was convicted of rape. Amnesty International said Kitagawa's execution left 74 people on death row in Japan.