MARCH 29 2012 14:29h
Japan executes three inmates
The ministry said the executions, the second death sentences carried out since the Democratic Party of Japan rose to power in 2009, took place in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka, Kyodo News reported.
In July 2010, two inmates also were executed by hanging.
"Punitive authority rests with the general public," Ogawa said during a news conference. "The death penalty is also supported under the lay judge system, which is supposed to reflect public opinions."
Executed were Yasuaki Uwabe, 48, convicted of killing five people and injuring 10 others in a 1999 killing spree at JR Shimonoseki Station in Yamaguchi prefecture; Tomoyuki Furusawa, 46, found guilty of killing the parents of his estranged wife and a stepson in 2002 in Yokohama; and Yasutoshi Matsuda, 44, sentenced to die for the robbery and slaying of two women in 2001 in Miyazaki prefecture.
Ogawa said there was "no special reason" why Uwabe, Furusawa and Matsuda were chosen for execution, adding the government will consider executions on an individual basis in the future.
TOKYO, March 29 (UPI) -- Three death-row inmates in Japan were hanged Thursday in the first executions in nearly two years, Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa said.