Justice Minister Eisuke Mori announced on Tuesday that two death-row inmates have been executed, marking the first executions under the government of Prime Minister Taro Aso formed in late September and breaking a record high for the number of people executed per year.
According to the Justice Ministry, the two are Michitoshi Kuma, 70, who was at the Fukuoka detention center, and Masahiro Takashio, 55, at the Sendai detention center. They were the first executions since Sept. 11.
They bring the annual total of people executed by the government to 15, the most since 1999 when the government started publishing the number of people executed.The government has been executing inmates at a pace of once around every two months since the period of former Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama.
An execution of a death-row inmate requires authorization by the justice minister.