Japan has executed a man and a woman convicted of murder.
Sachiko Eto, 65, a female cult leader who was convicted of carrying out six murders during supposed exorcisms, and a 39-year-old man, Yukinori Matsuda, were hanged, the Justice Ministry said.
Matsuda was convicted of killing two people during a robbery in 2003.
Eto turned to faith healing after she and her husband joined a cult, according to Japanese media reports. She and two accomplices, including her daughter, were convicted of beating their victims to drive out "demons" and then hiding their bodies at her home.
During her trial, Eto's lawyers argued she had diminished responsibility as she was suffering mental problems at the time of the crimes.
She pleaded not guilty but a Japanese court upheld her sentence, ruling that her crimes were "excessively grave".
Eto's daughter and another cult member were sentenced to life in prison for the 1995 murders.
Japan is one of the few industrialised countries to retain capital punishment.
The system has been criticised by human rights groups for what they describe as a lack of transparency, though capital punishment is generally supported by the public.
Japan had no executions in 2011 but has carried seven this year. The Justice Ministry says 131 convicts are on death row.