The Death Penalty

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     During the course I took last week, I talked about lots of issues with other students. For example, the future of women after graduating from schools, the inheritance issue of Japanese royal family, the phenomenon of middle-age couples’ divorces, the ethnic issues in Japan, aboutthe death penalty, the issue of Japan’s aging society and so on.

     To tell the truth, I seldom talk about those issues to my friends. If we choose some of them as topics, we usually just gossip about them. If I cannot stand on a clear position even in Japanese, I’ll never talk about the issues in English.

     As I wrote above, I was able to think about lots of thinks this time, but what made a big impression on me the most was about the death penalty. I hadn’t known anything about it until one of the students chose for a topic. I studied it on the Internet and was very surprised at many facts.

     For example, the approval rate of retaining the death penalty is over 80% here in Japan. (2004) I was really shocked to know it because I had thought the approval rate of abolishing was higher or near 50%. Besides, the approval rate of retaining it has become higher recently. http://www.jca.apc.org/~haikiren/index.html This phenomenon seems to be in a few countries. Probably, recent vicious crimes affect the rate in the background. But over half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty or practice now.

     What I was surpised at was not only the height of the approval rate of the death penalthy but also the way of practice. 
     The prisoner is told about that he or she is executed on the very day in the morning. He or She is taken to the scaffold while other prisnoers are outside for doing exercise from 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning. He or shie is taken to the next door before entering the scaffold room. The room is about a 12 mat room and has an altar, which has flowers, a Buddhist image, some Japanese sweets ( the prisoner can eat them, but it seems that most of the prisoners don’t eat them.) and some burning incenses, and has a white curtain. Beyond the cutrain, it’s the destination.

     The room is about an 8 mat room and has a 1m square scaffold in the center. The prisoner stands on it. There are 5 practice buttons to open the 1m floor because of soothing the executors’ senses of guilt.

     I’m going to study about the death penalty more a lot and about other issues of Japan.

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