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A Kyodo News poll shows that 75.9 percent of the public supports the death penalty, far exceeding the 19.5 percent who oppose capital punishment.

The poll was conducted after Justice Minister Keiko Chiba, a former member of a group of lawmakers opposed to the death penalty, ordered the hanging of two inmates in July, the first executions under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government.

At present, almost 140 countries have abolished or suspended executions.

According to the poll, 79.5 percent of men and 72.7 percent of women support the death penalty.

The poll was conducted by telephone on 1,457 randomly selected voters nationwide, of whom 1,030 gave valid answers.

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