Twenty-one executions have been carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in 2012. The two men hanged were Teruhiko Seki, 44, who murdered a family of four in Ichikawa city in 1992 when he was 19, and Kiyoshi Matsui, who murdered his girlfriend and parents in Annaka in Gunma Prefecture in 1994. Both of them had sought retrials. Rights watchdog Amnesty International’s East Asia Research Director Roseann Rife said the executions are an abhorrent and bloody stain on Japan’s human rights record adding that the Japanese government has once again shown contempt for the right to life. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations has urged Tokyo to introduce life sentences without parole by 2020.
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