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Japan has executed three convicts, marking the first time the death penalty has been carried out under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the first execution in the country in nearly two years, the Kyodo news agency reports.
One of those put to death was a 65-year-old man convicted of stabbing and killing seven of his relatives in 2004, according to Kyodo on Tuesday.
Capital punishment is carried out by hanging in Japan and prisoners are notified of their execution only hours before it is carried out.
That practice that has long been decried by human rights groups for the stress it puts on death-row prisoners, for whom any day could be their last.
Two death row inmates in November launched a law suit against the government, demanding a change to the practice and compensation for the impact of it.
The United States and Japan are the only industrialised democracies that still carry capital punishment and rights groups such as Amnesty International have demanded change for decades.
The last execution in Japan was on December 26, 2019, Kyodo reported.