Japan executed two criminals on Friday, including the first man convicted of murder by members of the public since juries were introduced in 2009.

Sumitoshi Tsuda, 63, was sentenced to death for killing his landlord, his brother and his wife in May 2009 in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo.

The six-strong jury, guided by three judges, dismissed the claim by Tsuda’s legal team that the killings had not been premeditated in the trial at the Yokohama District Court in July 2011.

During the trial, Tsuda had apologised to the families of the victims and said he would “pay for the crime with my own life”. He later withdrew an appeal filed by his defence to the Tokyo High Court, clearing the way for the sentence to be carried out.

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