Japan hangs 2 inmates convicted of murder; nation has executed 5 so far this year

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Japan has hanged two inmates convicted of murder, its fourth and fifth executions this year.

The Justice Ministry said the executions were carried out early Friday in Tokyo. The two inmates had shot to death two rival gangsters outside a restaurant in 2005.

Japan's executed three inmates in February. It now has 134 inmates on death row. Executions in Japan are done by hanging.

Capital punishment in Japan has been widely criticized by human rights groups, but polls show the public supports it. Japan's government releases few details about executions and inmates are not informed of their pending execution until immediately before it is carried out.