U.S. liberals often hold up Japan as an example of a land where guns are outlawed and crime is low.
They're less likely to point out that Japan has the death penalty -- and over 80% of Japanese support it.
The Japan Times reports:
More than 81 percent of Japanese expressed support for the death penalty in a recent government survey, exceeding the 80 percent mark for the first time.Of course, no death penalty story would complete without a word from Amnesty International, which I thought was supposed to be concerned with political prisoners and human rights abuses, not people who have been convicted of heinous crimes after receiving due process:
The rise appears to reflect deepening public alarm over a recent spate of serious crimes, including the kidnapping and murder of a girl in Nara.
The increase to 81.4 percent of respondents saying they support the death penalty was 2.1 percentage points higher than in the previous survey in November 1999, when the support figure was 79.3 percent.
Only 6.0 percent said the death penalty should be abolished, down 2.8 points from the 1999 poll.
The Justice Ministry says the death penalty has a certain degree of power to deter crime, but human rights watchdog Amnesty International Japan said the latest figure reflects a situation in which people have been spurred into anxiety over what they perceive as deteriorating security.Actually, there is. No executed criminal has ever committed another offense.
The group said there is no proof that the death penalty prevents crime.