Japan hangs killers, bringing PM Abe's count to eight
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan hanged two men on Thursday, bringing to eight the number of prisoners executed since the conservative government of Shinzo Abe came to power a year ago.
"There are various criticisms of the death penalty... but Japanese law allows for it and I believe we have people's support in principle," Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said as he announced the latest executions.
Apart from the United States, Japan is the only major industrialised democracy to use capital punishment.
Surveys have showed the death penalty has overwhelming public support despite repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups.