The following comments were made by Justice Minister Hatoyama in the magazine Shuukan Asahi, published
October 26, 2007 P.121~125.

Title "The Reason I will carry out Executions."
Interview with Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama
Partial translation by Michael H. Fox

Q: There is a big trend to abolish the death penalty worldwide. Why do you want to keep it in Japan?

A: The Japanese place so much importance on the value of life, so it is thought that one should pay with one's life after 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 opposite (from us). From incipient stages, their conception of the value of life is weaker than the Japanese. Therefore, they are moving toward abolishment of the death penalty. It is important that this discourse on civilizations be understood.

Q) You are very critical of of the future plan to raise the passing rate for the Bar exam.?

When we examine the problem from the viewpoint of government and administration, I think that Japanese civilization will suffer the most. As the Japanese respect the value of life, there is a strong and pressing demand to maintain order. Similarly, Japan is a civilization of beauty and compassion, a civilization of harmony. This is not to sanction collusion (dango), but engaging in dialogue and reciprocal understanding is a wonderful characteristic of Japanese civilization. The fact is, since the West is a very dry civilization, it's all right to take everything to court. This type of thinking will disrupt and erase the very best parts of Japan.

Comments: Hatoyama continually refers to "the West" as one homogeneous uniform entity. Thus the "civilization" of Rotterdam, Cordoba, Stuttgart, Milan and Minneapolis are singular and the same.