Timing is everything?
July 31, 2010 5:16 PM Subscribe
With "support for the death penalty in excess of 85% [of the population]", there is normally little fuss in Japan each time the announcement is made that convicted murderers from death row have been hanged (such announcements are only made after each execution.) But last Wednesday, the disclosure that two executions had taken place early that morning did raise eyebrows - for two reasons. Justice Minister Keiko Chiba held a press conference to make the announcement, and added that - in a 'first' for a Japanese Justice Minister - she herself had attended the execution as a witness, after signing the authorization for it to proceed. But what has really caused a firestorm of protest is the fact that although she lost her Parliamentary seat in last month's election, she "has remained in her ministerial post at the request of Prime Minister Naoto Kan". She is a private citizen.
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