TOKYO — Japan on Tuesday executed a person who killed seven individuals in a automobile crash and stabbing rampage in a crowded Tokyo procuring district in 2008.
Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa advised reporters that Tomohiro Kato was hanged on the Tokyo detention heart earlier Tuesday.
Japan has maintained the dying penalty regardless of rising worldwide criticism. Furukawa mentioned capital punishment was a justified response to persevering with heinous and violent crime and scrapping it wasn’t acceptable at this level.
Furukawa mentioned Kato had totally ready to commit the mass killings — “an atrocious act that led to extraordinarily critical penalties and had a significant affect on society.”
Within the assault, Kato drove down his truck on a road within the Akihabara electronics procuring space, slamming right into a crowd of individuals and killing three pedestrians in June 2008. He then obtained out of the automobile and stabbed 4 individuals to dying. He injured or wounded 10 others.
Surveillance footage aired by nationwide broadcaster NHK afterward confirmed Kato shopping for looking knives two days earlier than the assault, laughing with a retailer employee and at instances making stabbing motions along with his fingers. Media studies additionally mentioned he had posted on web message boards a number of despondent messages and warnings that he was planning to kill individuals in a mass assault.
Kato, 39, was sentenced to dying in 2011 by the Tokyo District Court docket, and the Supreme Court docket rejected his attraction in 2015.
Furukawa denied Tuesday’s hanging was associated to the capturing dying of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this month, which shocked the nation recognized for strict gun controls and low crime price.
Tuesday’s hanging was the second beneath the federal government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took workplace in October.
Japan now has 107 individuals on dying row, together with 61 looking for retrials, Furukawa mentioned.
Japan and the U.S. are the one two nations within the Group of Seven superior nations that retain capital punishment. A survey by the Japanese authorities confirmed an awesome majority of the general public helps executions.
Executions are carried out in excessive secrecy in Japan, the place prisoners aren’t knowledgeable of their destiny till the morning they’re hanged. Since 2007, Japan has begun disclosing the names of these executed and a few particulars of their crimes, however disclosures are nonetheless restricted.
Three prisoners had been hanged in 2021.
In 2018, Japan hanged 15 individuals, together with the guru of the Aum Shinrikyo cult and 12 former followers convicted within the sarin gasoline assault on the Tokyo subway that killed 13 individuals and sickened 1000’s.