TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan hanged two death-row inmates Thursday morning, the Justice Ministry said, including a multiple murderer who had reportedly been seeking a retrial.
According to sources close to the matter, Masakatsu Nishikawa, one of the two inmates executed, had filed his plea for a retrial over the murders of four women in the 1990s.
Nishikawa, 61, was convicted of murdering four bar managers in western Japan in 1991. The other inmate executed was Koichi Sumida, 34, who was found guilty for killing a female colleague in 2011 in Okayama Prefecture.
Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda ordered the executions, which were the 18th and 19th carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012.