JAPAN: CHIBA URGES DEATH PENALTY DEBATE
September 17, 2009: New Japanese Justice Minister Keiko Chiba said she will deal carefully with death penalty cases and called for a wide-ranging debate on whether capital punishment should be abolished.
"The death penalty involves a person's life, so I will cautiously handle (the cases) based on the duties of the justice minister," Chiba, a former lawyer, said at a news conference following the first meeting of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's new Cabinet.
Chiba said discussions are taking place on keeping or abolishing the death penalty, including whether it should be replaced with a new sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. (Sources: Japan Times, 18/09/09)