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Man executed over Akihabara massacre was seeking retrial: Amnesty Int'l Japan

Representatives of human rights groups protest the execution of Tomohiro Kato, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on July 26, 2022. (Mainichi/Koji Endo)

TOKYO -- Following the execution of a man over the 2008 massacre in Tokyo's Akihabara district, a human rights group revealed on July 26 that he was in the process of requesting a retrial.

    Japan executed 39-year-old Tomohiro Kato on July 26 over the rampage that left seven people dead and 10 injured. The human rights organization Amnesty International Japan held a news conference in Tokyo on the same day and announced that Kato was preparing to ask for a retrial.

    Hideaki Nakagawa, director of Amnesty International Japan, said, "There are 144 countries that have abolished the death penalty, including those that have effectively done away with it. Why does Japan continue to use a system that 70% of the world's nations consider unnecessary?"

    Yuichi Kaido, a lawyer who heads the nonprofit organization Center for Prisoners' Rights, also commented, "The justice minister did not answer at the press conference whether death row inmate Kato was appealing for a retrial. An execution without disclosing this information cannot be regarded as fulfilling accountability."

    (Japanese original by Koji Endo, Tokyo City News Department)

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