Japan executes two men on death row

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (AAP)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (AAP)

Japan has executed two prisoners on death row, one of whom was the country's first inmate to be sentenced to death by jurors.

AFP is reporting that since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took power in 2012, 14 people have now been executed.

In 2009, Japan introduced a jury system in which citizens deliberate with professional judges to boost citizenry input in the judicial process.

One of those prisoners was 63-year-old Sumitoshi Tsuda, who was the first person to be executed through this system. He is one of 26 people who have been sentenced since 2009.

Another inmate, Kazuyuki Wakabayashi, 39, was sentenced to death in 2006 by professional judges.

Japan and the US are the only remaining first-world nations to still have the death penalty.

According to AFP, Japan is largely in favour of capital punishment; despite international advocates expressing Japan's system is cruel as inmates are only told hours before their death, and can sometimes wait years in solitary confinement.

It is believed there are 126 people on death row in Japan.

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