Thursday, March 29, 2012

Japan hangs 3 death row inmates in 1st executions in 20 months

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan hanged three death row inmates Thursday in the first executions in 20 months, by order of Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, the minister said.

It is the second time executions have been performed under the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which came to power in September 2009. In July 2010, then Justice Minister Keiko Chiba ordered the hanging of two inmates.

The executions took place at detention houses in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka. The three were Yasuaki Uwabe, 48, Tomoyuki Furusawa, 46, and Yasutoshi Matsuda, 44, according to the ministry.

Uwabe, a former transport worker, was convicted of killing five people and injuring 10 others in a 1999 rampage at JR Shimonoseki Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.

Furusawa was found guilty of murdering the parents of his estranged wife and a stepson in 2002 in Yokohama, and Matsuda of robbing and killing two women in 2001 in Miyazaki Prefecture.

The death sentences for the three were finalized between 2007 and 2008. Read More