In an interview in Weekly Asahi [Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama] called the jury system "an imitation of foreign countries," and added, "I believe it is being enacted in Japan because it is being done overseas. I think it will be great if the system works well, and that it should be re-evaluated."
[In another interview Justice Minister said:]
As the Japanese place so much importance on the value of life, it is thought that one should pay with one's own life for taking the life of another. You see, the Western nations are civilizations based on power and war. So, conversely, things are moving against the death penalty. This is an important point to understand. The so-called civilizations of power and war are the opposite of us. From incipient stages, their conception of the value of life is weaker than the Japanese. Therefore, they are moving toward abolition of the death penalty.
It is important that this discourse on civilizations be understood.