Two murderers were hanged in
Japan on Wednesday, Justice Minister Keiko Chiba said, dpa reported.
Media reports said the minister was present when the executions were carried out, the first since the Democratic Party of Japan took power in September.
Kazuo Shinozawa, 59, was hanged for the murder of six female employees of a jeweller's shop in Tochigi Province in 2000.
Hidenori Ogata, 33, was convicted of a double murder carried out in 2003.
Japan is one of the few developed countries in which the death penalty is still used.
Domestic and international human rights organisations have for years denounced its use of the death penalty and prison conditions.
Relatives of the executed are only told the penalty has been carried out afterwards.