A free documentary screening and public lecture on the Japanese death penalty is being hosted at the University of Portsmouth tonight.
Dr Mai Sato, a lecturer in criminal law at the University of Reading, will give a talk after the screening of The Wavering Public? The Death Penalty, Justice and Public Opinion, which provides a rare insight into public perceptions of the controversial topic in Japan.
Dr Sato said: ‘The Japanese government’s official justification for preserving the death penalty is that the majority of the public is overwhelmingly in favour of this method of criminal punishment.
‘They argue that support for the death penalty is so strong and entrenched in Japanese culture that abolition is not possible.’
The documentary explores what the death penalty means to 135 ordinary citizens who are filmed discussing crime and punishment in a state where it is still government policy. The free event is at the Portland Building from 6pm to 7pm and will be followed by a drinks reception.