Japan’s Executions Drop to 0 for Year; 106 Still on Death Row

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Justice Ministry building

The government executed no prisoners this year, for the first time since 2020. The law on inmate treatment blocks executions from taking place from Dec. 29 to Jan. 3, making any such act within the year impossible. According to the Justice Ministry, there are now 106 inmates on death row, after three died from illness and other causes and three others had their death sentences finalized this year.

In 2020, the ministry was focused on amendments to the Public Prosecutor’s Office Law, and so there were no executions for the first time since 2011. But in December 2021, three people were executed, and in July 2022, the state executed 39-year-old Tomohiro Kato, who carried out a brutal attack in Tokyo’s Akihabara district. However, in November 2022, Yasuhiro Hanashi, then justice minister, was dismissed for trivializing his duties in regard to death sentences.