"Should we hang murderers?"

Last week, three condemned men were hanged in Japan.
This comes 55 days after the last spate of execution in December 2007.
The UN, last year, adopted a nonbinding resolution against capital punishment which Japan and America opposed. They are the last remaining industrialized nations to still carry out the death penalty.

Not just an international debate, in Japan too there are concerns whether the death penalty should be kept or abolished. However, according to a poll conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun, 90% of Japanese people would like to see the death penalty continue, and only 10% would like it abolished.

The polls claim that the people that agree with the death penalty, 48% say “people should pay with their lives,” 24% say “it will prevent serious crimes,” 15% say “to stop them from committing crimes again,” and 13% say “to appease the emotions of the bereaved families.”

Of the people that would like to see it abolished, 42% say “they should punish them without execution,” 22% say “the nation would be killing people,” 21% say “if there was a mistake in the trial, there would be no way back,” and 15% say “it will not deter atrocious crimes.”

According to the Mainichi Shimbun, this poll was conducted with ‘Goo Research Monitor’ and consisted of 1092 responses.

Of course, the Mainichi Shimbun holds very conservative views so the results of their poll seem unsurprising—especially if it is a readership poll, which is unclear. Is this poll an accurate representation of Japan’s views on capital punishment? Do 90% of Japanese people want executions to continue? Somehow that seems hard to believe…

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