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Japan executions a 'retrograde step'

Headline Title:  Japan executions a 'retrograde step' 29 March 2012 Japan's decision to carry out its first executions in almost two years today was condemned as a hugely retrograde step by Amnesty International.Three men were hanged at prisons in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Fukuoka this morning, the first in the country since 28 July 2010 after Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa gave authorization, explaining it was his "duty" as Minister.Executions in Japan are by hanging and are usually carried out in secret. Prisoners are typically given a few hours' notice but some may be given…

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