Japan’s drawn-out vengeance

Keizo Kawamura, 60, and Hiroya Suemori, 67, got an unexpected Christmas gift this year – both were hanged in Japan for killing two people in 1988, stealing the equivalent of around $900,000, and slapping concrete around the bodies.

Their executions have caused a ripple in the media because they took Japan’s total executions in 2018 to 15, matching the 2008 record.

The two carried out an “extremely heinous crime that shook society,” according to Takashi Yamashita, the justice minister, who announced their deaths at a press conference. He said he ordered the executions after careful consideration.