People are shocked to find out how Japan carries out the death penalty
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As of 2022, 55 countries still use the death penalty as a form of punishment, but you might not immediately think of Japan as one of them.
In 2021, the country broke an almost two-year execution hiatus when three men were killed by the state, with Japan’s first execution of 2022 taking place in July when Tomohiro Kato, who was convicted of stabbing seven people to death in 2008, was hanged.
But, as a recent Reddit post revealed, plenty of people had no idea that execution still takes place in Japan and were particularly unsettled to learn capital punishment is carried out by long drop hanging.
What’s more, capital punishment in Japan is ‘shrouded in secrecy’ and can allegedly take place without much warning.
Amnesty International notes: “Executions in Japan are shrouded in secrecy, with prisoners typically given only a few hours’ notice and some given no warning at all before their death sentences are carried out.
“Their families are usually notified about the execution only after it has taken place.”
The New York Post reports that inmates sentenced to death have their necks ‘swiftly’ broken using a rope and trap door.
A black hood is placed over inmates’ heads and they are also blindfolded before prison officers simultaneously press buttons releasing the trap door without giving away which button actually opened it.
An image of one of Japan’s execution chambers sent shivers down Redditors’ spines, with one person commenting beneath the photo: “Yeah, f**k that.”
Another person wrote: “Hanging is extreme and Japan ain't playing around,” while a third said: “This room looks creepy.”
Following Kato’s hanging over summer, Hideaki Nakagawa, director of Amnesty International Japan, expressed his outrage over the decision and branded the execution ‘inhumane’.
Nakagawa said: “The hanging of Tomohiro Kato is a callous attack on the right to life. Regardless of the crimes he had committed, he should never have suffered the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of the state.
“Tomohiro Kato was in the process of requesting a second retrial of his death sentence. Carrying out an execution during a request for retrial clearly violates international safeguards set out to protect the rights of those facing the death penalty.
“The Japanese authorities should immediately introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step toward abolishing the death penalty entirely — and commute all death sentences to terms of imprisonment.”