The Japanese government’s continued use of the death penalty demonstrates a contempt for the right to life, Amnesty International said, following the execution of two men on Thursday. The executions, the first in Japan in 2017, take the number of people executed under the current government to 19 since 2012. Masakatsu Nishikawa, who was convicted of the murder of four people in 1991 and 1992, was executed at Osaka Detention Centre. He maintained his innocence on some of the charges against him and the Asahi Newspaper reported that he was seeking a retrial. Koichi Sumida, who was convicted of murder in 2011, was executed at Hiroshima Detention Centre. “Today’s executions shows the Japanese government’s wanton disregard for the right to life.The death penalty never delivers justice, it is the ultimate cruel and inhumane punishment,” said Hiroka Shoji, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.