Japan opens up death chamber

2010-08-27 09:40
This photo taken during a media tour conducted by Japan's Justice Ministry shows an execution room at the Tokyo Detention House. (AFP)

This photo taken during a media tour conducted by Japan's Justice Ministry shows an execution room at the Tokyo Detention House. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tokyo - Japan, one of the few industrialised democracies to maintain the death penalty, threw open the doors to its mystery-shrouded execution chamber for the first time to media on Friday.

The move came a month after Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, a foe of capital punishment, announced a review of the practice after she witnessed the first executions since her centre-left government took office almost a year ago.

At the minister's urging, Japanese media were allowed inside the glass-walled execution room in the Tokyo Detention House, where convicts, usually multiple murderers, are put to death by hanging.

A red square with a cross on the white floor marks the spot in the window-less room where convicts stand with the noose around their neck, before a trap-door opens below them and they plunge to their deaths.

Convicts told at last minute

The mechanism is triggered by one of three wall-mounted push buttons in an adjacent room, pressed simultaneously by three officers, although none of them is told which button is the live one that will cause the prisoner's death.

In an ante-room, a golden Buddha statue is available for final prayers before the handcuffed convicts are blindfolded and led to their deaths, according to footage by public broadcaster NHK and other TV stations.

Apart from the US, Japan is the only industrialised democracy to carry out capital punishment, a practice that has earned Tokyo repeat protests from European governments and human rights groups.

Japan has faced particular criticism for only informing death row prisoners of their pending execution at the last minute, and for only telling their families afterwards.

Amnesty International last year labelled death row conditions in Japan "cruel, inhuman and degrading", blaming the mental strain for tipping many long-term convicts into insanity.
 

- SAPA
Read more on:    japan
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.