The Death Chamber of Japan Revealed to Media

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At the minister's urging, Japanese media were allowed on a 30-minute visit inside the glass-walled execution room in the Tokyo Detention House, where convicts, usually multiple murderers, are put to death by hanging.

Many death-row inmates receive no family visits with only chaplains being permitted to see them out of consideration for the inmate's mental stability. Once a month, the inmate and the chaplain meet in a room inside the detention center. Most of the inmates talk continuously, as if temporarily released from a stifling existence.

Despite persistent criticism by rights groups such as Amnesty International and the main Japanese bar association, there is little public outcry against capital punishment in Japan, where recent government surveys showed more than 80 percent support ratings.

In an ante-room, a golden Buddha statue is available for final prayers before the handcuffed convicts are blindfolded and led to their deaths, according to footage by public broadcaster NHK and other TV stations.


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