Japan executes three death row inmates, a first under PM Kishida -Kyodo


TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan executed three convicts on Tuesday, marking the first time the death penalty was carried out under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government and the first execution in the country in nearly two years, the Kyodo news agency reported.

One of those put to death was a 65-year-old man convicted of stabbing and killing seven of his relatives in 2004, according to Kyodo.

Capital punishment is carried out by hanging in Japan and prisoners are notified of their execution only hours before it is carried out. That practice that has long been decried by human rights groups for the stress it puts on death-row prisoners, for whom any day could be their last.

Two death row inmates in November launched a law suit against the government, demanding a change to the practice and compensation for the impact of it.

The United States and Japan are the only industrialised democracies that still carry capital punishment and rights groups such as Amnesty International have demanded change for decades.

The last execution in Japan was on Dec. 26, 2019, Kyodo reported.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink and David Dolan; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Robert Birsel)

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