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Hundreds of people who rallied against capital punishment ahead of World Day against the Death Penalty on Oct. 10 were joined by two former justice ministers who shared their experiences wielding the authority to order executions.

At the meeting Saturday of around 200 people, Seiken Sugiura, who was justice minister from 2005 to 2006 under a Liberal Democratic Party government, said: “After becoming justice minister in October 2005, I seriously thought about capital punishment, and I could not come up with an answer about why we dare to claim lives of death row inmates, even if they committed heinous crimes.”

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