(Washington, D.C.) – Amnesty International today condemned Japanese officials for authorizing the use of capital punishment following the executions of Junya Hattori and Kyozo Matumura in the Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka this morning.
"After carrying out no executions in 2011, Japan has put five people to death this year, firmly reestablishing itself in the minority of countries that still use capital punishment," said Roseann Rife, head of special projects at Amnesty International.
"Makoto Taki is the second minister of justice to authorize executions in 2012. The Japanese government is choosing to hide behind public opinion rather than demonstrate leadership and work towards the abolition of this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment," Rife concluded.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.