JAPAN EXECUTES TWO MURDERERS RESPONSIBLE FOR SEVEN DEATHS
|Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki
March 25, 2016: A convicted serial killer and the mastermind of a murder-for-insurance scheme were executed on March 25, bringing to four the number of inmates hanged since Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki took office in October.
The Justice Ministry said Yasutoshi Kamata, 75, was executed at the Osaka Detention House.
Kamata was convicted of murdering five people between 1985 and 1994, including a 9-year-old girl in 1987. He kidnapped the girl while she was on her way home from elementary school and strangled her at his home.
His other victims were all women between the ages of 19 and 45.
The Osaka District Court sentenced Kamata to death in 1999. The Supreme Court later finalized the sentence.
Junko Yoshida, 56, was hanged at the Fukuoka Detention House, the fifth woman to be executed Japan since 1950, the ministry said.
According to court rulings, Yoshida and three other former nurses in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, conspired to murder the husbands of two of the women between 1998 and 1999 in an attempt to receive insurance money.
Yoshida was sentenced to death in 2004 by the Fukuoka District Court, and the sentence was finalized by the Supreme Court in 2010.
The latest death penalties carried out were the second set authorized by Iwaki.
Iwaki in December authorized the first execution of a convict sentenced to death under the lay judge system.
Sixteen death-row inmates have been executed since the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in December 2012.
According to the Justice Ministry, 124 convicts whose death sentences have been finalized are now on death row. (Sources: ajw.asahi.com, 25/03/2016)