18 Pro Death Penalty Quotes by Politicians from Japan

"I believe execution is the best punishment for felons, especially murderers," a citizen named Hajime Ishii wrote to the Yomiuri Shimbun in July 2003. "Controversial as my opinion may be, I would like to see all murderers -- regardless of their age, gender and nationality -- put to death."
Hajime Ishii (石井 一) (born 1934) is a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party of Japan, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet (national legislature).

Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama told a news conference he had signed the order to send Miyazaki and two others to the gallows to "realise justice". "We are carrying out executions by selecting the people whom we can execute with a feeling of confidence and responsibility," he said. Wednesday 18 June 2008.

"The death penalty embodies preventive functions against crimes. I disagree with abolishing the system.”

"One must be extra careful in approving death penalties because it is about ending human life," Hatoyama said, but added that failure to authorize capital punishment runs against the nature of the legal system.

"Executions should be carried out aptly" under the Constitution, he said.

Kunio Hatoyama (鳩山邦夫 Hatoyama Kunio, born 13 September 1948) is a Japanese politician who served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications under Prime Minister Taro Aso until June 12, 2009. On March 15, 2010, he seceded from Liberal Democratic Party.

Capital punishment should continue to exist because "we should respect people's sentiment that (the most heinous crimes) have to be compensated for only by death."

Okiharu Yasuoka (保岡 興治 Yasuoka Okiharu?, born May 11, 1939) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). A native of Kagoshima Prefecture and graduate of Chuo University, he was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1972 as an independent. He later joined the LDP and served as the Minister of Justice from 2000 to 2001. He was later returned to the post of Minister of Justice under Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on August 1, 2008. Yasuoka is a licensed attorney. He left the LDP in 1994 to join the now-defunct Shinshinto party, but returned to the LDP in 1995. Yasuoka is known to work himself and his staff very long hours. He was one of the key participants in the launch of Fukuda's administration in 2007. Yasuoka also chairs the LDP's Constitution Research Commission. An avid jogger and swimmer, Yasuoka has repeatedly swam the 2.1km-wide Kinko Bay in Kagoshima Prefecture.

The two people hanged on Tuesday were Michitoshi Kuma, 70, and Masahiro Takashio, 55, the justice ministry said in a statement. Kuma kidnapped two seven-year-old girls on their way to school in southern Japan in February 1992 and strangled them, dumping their bodies in the mountains. Takashio was convicted of breaking into a house in northern Japan in March 2004 and stabbing a 55-year-old woman and her 83-year-old mother to death before stealing 50,000 yen, or about $500.


"Both crimes stemmed from cruel motives and took the precious lives of victims," Justice Minister Eisuke Mori told reporters.

Eisuke Mori (森 英介, born August 31, 1948) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party. He is a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature) and is the former Minister of Justice under Aso's Administration.

Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told reporters yesterday that there had been no discussion about halting the executions. “In Japan, the majority view is that capital punishment should be maintained, so I feel no need to change what we have continued doing until now.”

Yasuo Fukuda (福田 康夫 Fukuda Yasuo, born 16 July 1936) was the 58th Prime Minister of Japan, serving from 2007 to 2008.

Friday 30 March 2012 - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has defended the country's use of the death penalty, days after three death-row inmates were hanged.

"I have no plans to do away with the death penalty," Mr Noda said, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Thursday's executions were Japan's first since July 2010.

Japan is one of the few advanced industrialized nations to retain the death penalty. It is usually reserved for multiple murders.

"Taking into consideration a situation where the number of heinous crimes has not decreased, I find it difficult to abolish the death penalty immediately," Mr Noda said.

"We must carefully weigh the nature of the death penalty from various standpoints, while giving sufficient attention to public opinion," he continued, pointing out that in 2009, 85.6% of those polled in a government survey supported the measure.

Yoshihiko Noda (野田 佳彦 Noda Yoshihiko, born 20 May 1957) is the current Prime Minister of Japan, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), and a member of the House of Representativies (lower house) in the Diet (national legislature). He was named to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against Banri Kaieda in his party, and was formally appointed by the Emperor on 2 September 2011.

Japan hanged three death row inmates Thursday 29 March 2012 in the first executions in 20 months, by order of Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, the minister said.

Ogawa told a press conference, which lasted only 10 minutes, ''Punitive authority rests with the general public. The death penalty is also supported under the lay judge system, which is supposed to reflect public opinions.''

Three inmates were hanged Thursday 29 March 2012, in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, in the country's first executions since July 2010.

Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, the first of the past six justice ministers to tacitly support capital punishment, signed off on the three executions Thursday morning.

"I just performed my duty as a justice minister. The right to punish criminals rests on Japanese nationals, and a government poll shows the majority of Japanese support the death sentence," Ogawa said at a news conference. "Also, lay judge trials maintain the death sentence as a punishment, and lay judges are from the general public."

At a press conference after Thursday's executions, Ogawa explained why he ordered them, saying: "Punitive power belongs to the people. In trials held under the lay judge system that was introduced to reflect their opinions, executions have been supported. I thought I should perform this duty even though some people oppose [capital punishment]."

JAPAN has resumed its use of capital punishment after a 20-month break, with an unapologetic government minister signing death warrants for three multiple murderers.

The convicts went to the gallows on the orders of the justice minister, who said he was acting in line with public opinion, which overwhelmingly supports the death penalty.

"Today, three executions were carried out," Toshio Ogawa said overnight of the hangings, the first in Japan since July 2010. "I have carried out my duty as a justice minister as stipulated by law."

Mr Ogawa was unrepentant for his order, citing the legal requirement for execution and demand from the public, who in polls have shown 85 per cent support for capital punishment.

"Punishments for crimes are decided by the public," he said, referring to Japan's long-standing policy of using capital punishment.

The three inmates put to death overnight were all multiple murderers, whose violence in low-crime Japan shocked the public.

Yasuaki Uwabe, 48, drove a car into a train station in Kyushu in a planned random killing, hitting several people before running onto the platform with an 18cm knife. He killed five people and injured 10.

Tomoyuki Furusawa, 46, whose wife was hiding at her parents' home in Yokohama to escape his abuse as she filed for divorce, killed her elderly parents and her 12-year-old son in 2002 before abducting and assaulting her.

Yasutoshi Matsuda, 44, killed two women in southern Miyazaki prefecture in 2001.

Toshio Ogawa (小川 敏夫 Ogawa Toshio, born March 18, 1948) is a Japanese politcian of the Democratic Party of Japan, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet (national legislature). A native of Nerima, Tokyo and graduate of Rikkyo University, he was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1998 after working as a prosecutor. In 1996, he ran for a lower house election with a support from the Democratic Party of Japan, but failed. In 1998, he ran for an upper house election, and was elected. In 2004, he again got elected in an upper house election. In 2012 he was appointed justice minister.

"I believe that the information was disclosed so that we gain understanding from the public that executions are being carried out in an appropriate manner, with the focus on feelings of the victims."

Nobutaka Machimura (町村 信孝, Machimura Nobutaka, born October 17, 1944) is a Japanese politician. He is a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. He was Chief Cabinet Secretary in the government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda from 2007 to 2008.

"I am aware of various opinions on the issue, but nearly 80% of the people in this country have no objection to the existence of the death penalty," Justice Minister Jinen Nagase said.

"I don't have any plan to change the current justice system."

Jinen Nagase (長勢 甚遠 Nagase Jin'en, b. October 3, 1943) is a Japanese politician who formerly served as Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Shinzo Abe.

Newly appointed Justice Minister Makoto Taki said in a recent interview that he supports the death sentence because it's on the books for heinous crimes.

"I lean toward maintaining the death sentence because it already exists in the judicial system," Taki, who assumed his post June 4, told The Japan Times and other journalists in his office last Thursday 14 June 2012. "The fact that the judicial branch hands down death sentences should not be taken lightly," he said. "We should be cautious, as we should scrutinize individual cases."

A man who raped and killed a student by setting her on fire was hanged at the Tokyo Detention House, one of two inmates executed Aug. 3 2012, as new Justice Minister Makoto Taki made good on a pledge to approve death sentences.


Junya Hattori, 40, abducted a 19-year-old female college student in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture, in 2002, according to the verdict that finalized his death sentence. After raping her, he doused her in kerosene and set her on fire.


He was given a life sentence by the district court that initially convicted him, but on appeal by prosecutors the Tokyo High Court handed down a death sentence, which was finalized in 2008.


Kyozo Matsumura, 31, was hanged the same day at the Osaka Detention House.


Matsumura killed his aunt in Nagaokakyo, Kyoto Prefecture, by striking her with a blunt instrument and stabbing her. He stole about 20,000 yen ($250) from her wallet and then bludgeoned his great-uncle at his home in Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture, stealing about 3,000 yen.

A revolving door of justice ministers then led to a period of about 20 months when no hangings were carried out. Toshio Ogawa, who took over as justice minister in January 2012 was the last to approve a hanging on March 29. Three inmates were executed under his tenure.

Taki, who approved the two latest executions, said after assuming the post in June that he would not hesitate to approve hangings.

He told a news conference: "With a system in place and after the courts have issued the verdict, it would be impossible to make decisions that totally disregard such factors."

"I signed documents authorizing the executions after carefully considering each case," Taki told journalists Friday afternoon (3 August 2012). "As I said when I assumed the post, unless there is any uncertainty concerning a conviction, a justice minister should respect the trial process and the decision of the court," he said. 

Makoto Taki (滝 実 Taki Makoto?, born September 15, 1938) is a Japanese politician serving in the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature) as an independent. A native of Ota, Tokyo and graduate of the University of Tokyo he was elected for the first time in 1996.