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The death penalty in Japan is imposed in cases of murder, and robbery and/or rape leading to death. In such cases, capital punishment is not mandatory and is usually only imposed in cases of multiple killings, though since 2006 this criteria has not been strictly observed.

Over the past 10 years, there has been a significant increase in the number of death penalties handed down, rising from an average of five a year in the 1990s to 15 in 2004, 23 in 2007 and 17 in 2013.

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