Japan executes two death row inmates

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Tokyo, July 13 (IANS) Japan on Thursday executed two death row inmates, the Ministry of Justice announced.

According to Kyodo News, Masakatsu Nishikawa, 61, one of the executed inmates, was convicted of murder in 1991, though he had filed a retrial plea.

The second inmate, Koichi Sumida, 34, was found guilty of killing a female co-worker in 2011.

The execution order was signed by the Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda, who had approved another execution in November 2016, reports Efe news.

Japan’s reluctance to stop the practice has been strongly criticized by organizations like Amnesty International.

Kaneda has publically expressed his opposition to the abolition of capital punishment, citing data from opinion polls, which show that more than 80 per cent of Japanese people are in favour of capital punishment.

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