Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Japan hangs gangster and killer arsonist

29 August 2014, 08:08

Tokyo - Japan executed a mobster and a killer arsonist on Friday, bringing to 11 the total number of death sentences carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012.

The executions came days before Abe is expected to reshuffle his cabinet amid speculation that he will appoint a new justice minister, whose approval is needed for any sentence to be carried out.

"I ordered the executions after prudent consideration," Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki told reporters.

The executed men were both multiple killers.

Tsutomu Takamizawa, 59, a gang boss in the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza grouping, was convicted of shooting three people dead between 2001 and 2005, the justice ministry said.

Mitsuhiro Kobayashi, a 56-year-old former taxi driver, was convicted of killing five people and seriously injuring four others in 2001 by setting fire to a consumer loan office, in Aomori, northern Japan.

Apart from the United States, Japan is the only major industrialised democracy to use capital punishment.

Surveys have shown the death penalty has overwhelming public support, despite repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups.

Tokyo did not execute anyone in 2011, the first full year in nearly two decades without an execution amid muted debate on the rights and wrongs of the practice.

But in March 2012 it abruptly resumed its use of capital punishment, dispatching three multiple murderers.

International advocacy groups say Japan's system is cruel because inmates can wait for their executions for many years in solitary confinement and are only told of their impending death a few hours ahead of time.

There have been a number of high-profile miscarriages of justice exposed in recent years, including the case of Iwao Hakamada, who was released from jail in March, aged 78, after decades on death row for a multiple murder he did not commit.

Hakamada, who was believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate, was the victim of a flawed investigation in which evidence was fabricated.

Japan now has 125 inmates on death row, according to local media.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on 
Twitter and like our Facebook page!


Tags japan

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...