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News In Brief

Amnesty group challenges Japan on death penalty

Amnesty International called on Japan Monday to abolish the death penalty and end official secrecy about which prisoners on death row were hanged. The call came after a visit to Japan by a team from the human rights group investigating the circumstances of 54 prisoners who, the group believes, await execution.

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On the Japanese island of Miyakejima, meanwhile, Mt. Oyama volcano erupted for the first time in 21 years, burying a village of 500 houses. No injuries were reported.