Over 85% of Japanese believe that death penalty is necessary under certain circumstances, the Japanese government has said.
The government cited on Saturday the results of a social poll, which also showed that only 5.7% of the Japanese oppose the death penalty. The support for the death penalty has grown by 4 percentage points since the last poll conducted in 2004.
The poll was conducted in November-December last year among 1,944 people, and cited heinous crimes and the fear of rising crime after the abolishment of capital punishment among key reasons for keeping the death penalty in effect.
The death penalty is ordinarily imposed in cases of multiple murders involving aggravating factors.
As of September 2009, there were 102 people awaiting execution in Japan.
Executions are carried out by hanging in a death chamber in the detention centers of Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.
International human rights organizations have repeatedly called on Japan to abolish capital punishment.
The United States is the only other developed country where death penalty is legal.
Russia's Constitutional Court extended last year a moratorium on capital punishment, which was due to expire on January 1. The court said that the ban, introduced in 1999, had begun an "irreversible process" toward the abolition of the death penalty in the country.
However, opinion polls indicate that at least 79% of Russians support the death penalty applied to rapists of minors, terrorists, drug dealers and serial killers.
TOKYO, February 7 (RIA Novosti)