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Two Japanese inmates executed

Kyodo

Two inmates were hanged Friday in the second round of executions since Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in December.

Put to death were yakuza Katsuji Hamasaki, 64, and Yoshihide Miyagi, 56, according to the Justice Ministry. They were convicted of gunning down two men linked to a rival crime syndicate at a restaurant in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, in 2005.

Both inmates were hanged at the Tokyo Detention House, the ministry said.

“There are reasons why capital punishment has been retained,” Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said during a news conference following the hangings.

He said the death penalty deters potential criminals from committing serious crimes and provides consolation to the relatives of crime victims.

In the previous round of hangings in February, three inmates were hanged.