By Petra Schmidt
Capital punishment has been carried out in Japan since ancient times. Although ancient Japan uniquely suspended executions for several centuries towards the end of the first millennium, today the death penalty is firmly established in Japan. This volume explores the current state of capital punishment, the domestic discussion on the subject, and the influence of the political orientations of the governments of recent years. The treatise is of current interest especially because of the Aum cult, whose leader Shoko Asahara is at present tried in Tokyo. If found guilty, he may be sentenced to death. After a three years interval (between 1989 and 1993), Japan is nowadays undergoing a capital punishment renaissance" with 39 executions between 1993 and 2000."