28 Dec '11, 11am

Japan has year without executions: Government

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan has not executed anyone so far in 2011, the government said on Wednesday, setting it up to be the first year in nearly two decades the country has not carried out a single death sentence. However, the number of inmates on death row stands at a post-war high of 129 as a debate on the rights and wrongs of capital punishment continues. In a legal quirk, executions - always carried out by hanging in Japan - are banned over the New Year period, with a moratorium between Dec 29 and Jan 3 as well as on weekends and public holidays. A justice ministry spokesman confirmed late on Wednesday afternoon that there had been no execution in the year 2011 until Dec 27.

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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