Two more death row inmates were executed in Tokyo last week, with Amnesty International saying that a “chilling” escalation of death penalty use under the new Liberal Democratic government is intensifying.
Yoshihide Miyagi, 56, and Katsuji Hamasaki, 64, were hanged in Tokyo last week, on Friday, for shooting and killing several rival gang members in Ichihara City in 2005.
Five people were sentenced to death since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government took office last year, in December. The other three people were executed in February, according to Amnesty International.
“This chilling news appears to reinforce our fears that the new government is increasing the pace of executions at an alarming rate,” said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director.
“With five executions already this year, it seems clear the government has no intention of heeding international calls to start a genuine and open public debate on the death penalty, including its abolition.”
“We urge the government to immediately reverse this worrying trend and impose a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition,” said Catherine Baber.
All Japan news has executed 12 people since March 2012. No executions had been carried out during the previous 20 months.