One year after the founder and 12 former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult were executed for crimes including the deadly 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway system, the debate over the death penalty remains a muted affair in Japan despite international calls for its abolition.

The unprecedented executions of Aum founder Shoko Asahara and his former followers on July 6 and 26 last year has not led to any major anti-death penalty movement in the country, and past polls have suggested many are supportive of capital punishment.

Altogether, 15 people were executed in 2018 according to the Justice Ministry, up from four the previous year.