Tuesday 28 October 2008

Japan- Despite Prime Minster's status as a Catholic- Japan hangs two more on death row

(Social Justice South Africa; c.f. BBC World News (secular) 28/10/08)

Article by Marc Aupiais

When their their previous Justice minister's Buddhist beliefs disagreed, Japan for fifteen months, halted executions. Despite being a professed Catholic, Japan's prime minister, Tarso Aso, elected on the 24 of September to the position, has continued to allow the mass use of the death penalty in Japan. When executions take place, they are not broadcast widely, but have allot of support in the local communities. The most recent victims, both criminals, it seems- were both over the age of 50.

The Catholic Church has for years been campaigning for a universal moratorium of the death penalty, saying that the places where it is needed in the modern world are limited. It has had the support of politicians around the world, including some figures in South Africa, and has played a large part in reducing its use. In Japan, however, public sentiments have kept up this practice, without any proven positive effects, which can be separated from good legal measures.

It is not permitted for a Catholic to vote for a politician who allows an extravagant, unnecessary use of the death penalty except when their viable opponents are worse on human rights, and pro-life, pro-family issues, and the 7 non-negotiable political issues- but catholics are permitted, to vote for politicians who believe in a limited death penalty.

Japan has killed 15 people on death row this year, and are estimated to have 100 more ready to be executed, being kept until their final execution dates, which have not been released to the public. Executions usually take place in secret, before later being announced to the public.

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