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January 2 2010 | JAPAN

Japan

Justice Minister meets abolitionist lawyers who are seeking a moratorium

 
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Kyodo News Servic

Chiba meets lawyers over death penalty

Justice Minister Keiko Chiba had a rare meeting Wednesday with members of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations who are seeking a moratorium on executions until proper measures are taken to prevent wrongful convictions.

Previous justice ministers have not met with federation members over the issue since at least 2002, and the group believes it is another sign that Chiba "understands the problems" surrounding the death penalty,  the lawyers said.

Chiba, who took up the post after the Democratic Party  of Japan came to power in the general election, is a former member of the nonpartisan Parliamentary League for the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

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