Tokyo -

Japan hanged three death row inmates on Thursday in the first executions under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, the Kyodo News agency reported, citing an unnamed source close to the matter.

The report did not identify the prisoners or say where the hangings took place.

The executions were the first since September. Japan carried out seven in 2012 under premier Yoshihiko Noda. Abe took office in late December.

Japan and the United States are among the few major industrialised democracies that still impose death sentences.Author: Takehiko Kambayashi - Sapa-dpa