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After popular support, Japan to continue capital punishment

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Tokyo, Jan 29 (IANS/EFE) Japan is to continue applying the death penalty after over 80 percent of the country’s population expressed their support for the measure, media Thursday cited Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa as saying.

A recent government survey revealed that 80.3 percent of respondents backed the death penalty, while 9.7 percent felt that it should be abolished.

Kamikawa termed the results as positive and said strict and careful measures would continue in this regard.

She said there was no intention of revising the current policy in the short term, despite having hinted at times the possibility of introducing life sentences for capital crimes.

"Most people believe it is unavoidable for those who committed extremely malicious crimes to face (execution)," Kamikawa said, according to the Asahi daily newspaper.

Kamikawa also made a reference to the global trend against the death penalty and the petition by activists for Japan to end capital punishment.

"It is a problem associated with what country Japan should be, and it is (the Japanese people’s) business," she said.

Eleven convicts have been executed since the current government took office in December 2012.

Japan, along with the US, is the only developed and democratic country that still imposes the death penalty.

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