JAPAN: DOUBLE MURDERER EXECUTED; 2ND UNDER CITIZEN JUDGE SYSTEM
November 11, 2016: A man convicted of two murders was hanged at the Fukuoka Detention House in Kyushu, the Justice Ministry announced.
Kenichi Tajiri, 45, was sentenced to death in 2012 for murder-aggravated robbery cases committed in Kumamoto Prefecture in 2004 and 2011.
The execution, the second time a death sentence decided under the citizen judge system has been carried out, came on the heels of a manifesto issued by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations in October calling for the abolition of capital punishment.
It was the first execution in Japan since March and also the first under Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda, a ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker who took office in August.
Tajiri was the 17th inmate to be put to death since December 2012, when the LDP took the reins of government.
Under the ruling that finalized the death penalty, Tajiri broke into the home of a doctor in Uto, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 2004, killed the man's 49-year-old wife and fled with around 180,000 yen ($1,700) in cash and other items.
In 2011, he fatally stabbed the 65-year-old wife of a company executive and severely injured her husband at the couple's home in Kumamoto. He made off with 10,000 yen and other items.
Tajiri was sentenced to death under the citizen judge system at the Kumamoto District Court.
In 2012, he retracted his appeal to the Supreme Court, and the sentence was finalized.
In October, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations for the first time adopted a manifesto that urges the government âto abolish capital punishment by 2020 and instead introduce life imprisonment without parole.â The policy was announced at a human rights convention. (Sources: asahi.com, 11/11/2016)