A man convicted of killing four children in Saitama and Tokyo between 1988 and ’89 was executed this morning.
Tsutomu Miyazaki, 45, kidnapped and killed four girls between the ages of four and seven.
During his trial, videos, taken by Miyazaki, were shown including scenes of the dead bodies being decapitated and disposed of in the mountains. This prompted people to question his sanity and based on this, whether he could be held responsible for his actions.
His first and second trials both resulted in the death penalty sentence and two years ago, the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal, and his execution was finalized.
It took 16 years for the final judgment to be made, from his first trial to his last in January 2006.
As well as Miyazaki, two others were also executed this morning, although not much media attention is given to them.
Masashi Okada, 37, was convicted of armed robbery and the murder of a brothel owner, and Yoshio Yamazaki, 73, was convicted of killing two people with the aim of receiving their life insurance pay-out.
Currently, executions are required to have final approval from Kunio Hatoyama, the Minister of Justice. Since August last year, there have been 13 executions under Hatoyama.
Hatoyama is expected to hold a press conference today to officially announce these deaths.
The Japanese legal system often faces criticism for the lack of transparency of death-row inmates. Executions are carried out in secret, with the inmate only being informed of his imminent death a day before and the family only being informed after the execution has taken place.
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