The Japanese government opened up its execution chambers to the public for the first time on Friday, taking journalists on a tour of Tokyo’s main gallows. The insides were stark: a trapdoor, a Buddha statue and a ring for the noose.
The opening of the chambers was a bid by Japan’s justice minister, Keiko Chiba, to stir debate over a practice that is widely supported here.
Of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, only the United States and Japan use capital punishment. Japan currently has 107 inmates on death row, and no pardon is allowed. From 2000 to 2009, Japan sentenced 112 people to death and executed 46.
“Apart from Japan and the United States, the other countries in the world that carry out capital punishment are those accused of other grave human rights violations,” Ms. Doi said. “Japan should be ashamed to be on that list.”
The United States should be equally embarrassed to be associated with countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.