Japan Hangs 3 Convicted Murderers
Capital Punishment at Highest Level in 30 Years
By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, June 17, 2008; 1:10 PM
TOKYO, June 17 -- Japan hanged three convicted murderers on Tuesday, bringing the number of executions to 13 in the past six months and ramping up the pace of capital punishment to the highest level in more than three decades.
There is broad public support here for the death penalty and one of those hanged on Tuesday was among the most reviled serial killers in Japan's recent history.
Tsutomu Miyazaki, 45, killed four young girls in the late 1980s and left the charred bones of one 4-year-old victim on her parents' doorstep. The Supreme Court, rejecting his final appeal, said he was motivated by a desire for sex and to make videos with his victims' corpses.
Still, Japan, host next month to a summit of the Group of Eight industrialized powers, is under mounting international pressure to halt executions.
The U.N. General Assembly, in a nonbinding resolution passed in December, called on all countries to impose a moratorium on executions as a step toward abolishing the death penalty. Human rights groups, the European Union and some Japanese legislators are also leaning on the Tokyo government to impose a moratorium.
I have always wondered why this country allows a convicted murder to outlive their victims for years and years before justice gets served.
Source: Washington Post