Japan is one of only two first-world democracies in the world, along with the US, to kill their own citizens.
Unlike the US, where execution dates are set in advance, prisoners in Japan are executed with very little warning and are told they are going to die on the morning of their execution — usually about an hour before.
The UN Committee against Torture has criticized Japan for the psychological strain this places on inmates and their families.
Condemned inmates in the country are executed by hanging — where their neck is swiftly broken using a rope and a trap door.
A blindfold and black hood are placed over the prisoner’s head before they are killed.