Haruki Murakami ‘cannot oppose’ death penalty for doomsday cult killers

Japanese novelist, whose book Underground charted the impact of the 1995 sarin gas attack, says he is unable to argue with judicial killing in this case

The Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami has said that he cannot publicly oppose Japan’s execution of the doomsday cult members behind the 1995 Tokyo sarin gas attack, despite being against the death penalty.

In a rare essay, published in the Mainichi Shimbun on Sunday, Murakami said that “as a general argument, I adopt a stance of opposition toward the death penalty”, pointing to the number of wrongful convictions which mean that “the death penalty, literally, can be described as an institution with fatal dangers”.

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