Hugo Swire said:
Despite global opposition to the use of the death penalty, Japan has today executed two prisoners.This is becoming a worrying trend in a country with which we work very closely.
The world is moving to abolish the death penalty, and the British Government is committed to seeing this through. It is our longstanding policy to do so and I urge Japan to listen to international partners and to restart a public debate on this.
Whilst I recognise the seriousness of the crimes of these two prisoners, there is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty has any deterrent effect. Any miscarriage of justice is irreversible and irreparable.
The British Government will continue to urge Japan to reconsider its policy and establish a formal moratorium, with a view to the eventual abolition of the death penalty.
Read about the UK’s work to abolish the death penalty around the world