Japan's justice minister under fire for gaffe on death penalty

TOKYO, Nov 10 (Japan Today) - Japan's justice minister has come under fire for remarks widely seen as making light of his role in providing final authorization for executions of death-row inmates.

Yasuhiro Hanashi, who took the post in August, told a political gathering on Wednesday that the role of justice minister is an "obscure" position whose occupants can only makes the headlines by signing off on decisions to hang inmates.

"Serving as justice minister won't help raise much money or secure many votes," said Hanashi, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's Liberal Democratic Party.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno met Hanashi Thursday morning and warned him against "careless" remarks, the minister told reporters after the meeting.

Hanashi said he apologized for making the comments and giving the wrong impression about the duties of a justice minister. ...continue reading

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