Japan has hanged two death row inmates in the country's first executions since March.
Japan's Justice Ministry identified the prisoners executed Friday as 40-year-old Junya Hattori and 31-year-old Kyozo Matsumura. Hattori was convicted of raping and killing a 19-year-old woman in 2002. Matsumura killed two of his relatives in 2007.
Japan resumed its use of capital punishment in March after a 20-month break.
Japan had no executions in 2011, but with Friday's killings, brings this year's total to five. According to the Justice Ministry, it has 130 convicts on death row.
The United States and Japan are the only major industrialized democracies to carry out capital punishment.
The lack of transparency in the Japanese system has been criticized by human rights groups, but capital punishment is generally supported by the public, according to opinion polls.
Germany's top human rights official issued a statement saying he was "shocked" by the executions.