Japan executes foreign prisoner for first time in 10 years
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Japan on Thursday executed a foreigner for the first time in a decade, hanging a Chinese national who was convicted in 2003 of robbing and murdering a family of four, according to The Associated Press.

Wei Wei, 40, was found guilty of robbing and killing the owner of a clothing shop in Fukuoka along with the owner’s wife and two children before weighing down the bodies and dumping them in the ocean. He was executed at a Fukuoka detention center after more than 16 years on death row, according to the AP.

“It was an extremely cold-blooded and cruel case, in which [Wei] killed four innocent members of a happy family,” Justice Minister Masako Mori said at a news conference Thursday, adding that she signed the execution order after weighing the facts of the case and international anti-capital punishment sentiment.


Wei’s two accomplices were both tried in China, with one sentenced to death and the other life imprisonment, according to the AP.

Amnesty International condemned the use of capital punishment, noting that more than 100 other countries have abolished the practice, including every other Group of Seven nation except the United States. Japan “has shown that it lags far behind most of its peers,” Arnold Fang, an East Asia researcher for Amnesty International, said in a statement, according to the AP.

The nation currently has 112 death row inmates and is among the most secretive about the details of the process of all the nations that still practice capital punishment. The prisoners themselves are not told until the morning of the hanging, and the country has only disclosed the names of those executed and some details of their crimes since 2007.