Historical comparisons of capital punishment treatment in each country are provided. Statistics are provided to support the assertion that capital punishment is on the rise in the United States while in decline in Japan. The views of each country on the death penalty are examined to explain differences in the countries' usage of the penalty. U.S. Supreme Court decisions are discussed to determine the constitutionality of the use of capital punishment. The Japanese constitution and Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment are then examined and compared to those in the U.S. Each countries' justifications for punishment are compared. Distinctions are also made between each countries' methods of execution. Major differences cited between the countries' treatment of the death penalty include the use of retribution and vengeance by the United States as a justification for capital punishment and Japan's willingness to be lenient in capital cases. 233 footnotes.