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[國際新聞] Japan carries out first execution of foreigner in 10 years

TOKYO — Japan executed its first foreigner in 10 years Thursday, a Chinese man convicted in the 2003 robbery and murder of a family of four.

Wei Wei, 40, was hanged Thursday at a detention center in Fukuoka where he had been on death row for more than 16 years, Justice Minister Masako Mori said.

Wei was convicted of robbing and killing a clothing store owner and his wife and two children at their home in Fukuoka. He and two Chinese accomplices dumped the bodies into the ocean after attaching weights to them, Mori said at a news conference.

Japan has maintained the death penalty despite growing international criticism.

Mori said she signed the execution order after careful examination, taking into consideration the international anti-execution movement. She said Japan was a law-abiding country and the execution was based on its criminal justice system.

“It was an extremely cold-blooded and cruel case, in which (Wei) killed four innocent members of a happy family,” she said.

Wei's two accomplices were tried in China, where one was sentenced to death and the other was given life imprisonment, according to Japan's Kyodo News agency.

Amnesty International said the hanging showed Japan's “shocking lack of respect for the right to life.”

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