On June 17, 2008, Japan executed three inmates by hanging in an effort to reduce violent crime, despite Japan's national bar association calling for a moratorium on the death penalty in order to enact safeguards to prevent wrongful executions. The international community has criticized Japan for its use of the death penalty, yet no official moratorium has been enacted. In January 2009, an additional four death row inmates were executed. Japanese Justice Minister Keiko Chiba announced in July 2010 a review of the death penalty in response to international criticism. Currently, Japan is one of only four developed, industrialized democracies that still utilize the death penalty, which includes the US, South Korea and Taiwan.
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