China executes Japanese man for smuggling amphetamines

Japanese national convicted of trafficking stimulant drug executed in China, Japan's foreign minister says amid regional tensions over maritime territorial disputes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 12:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 July, 2014, 1:59pm

Chinese authorities on Friday executed a Japanese man who had been sentenced to death in connection with smuggling a stimulant drug, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said.

Kishida told a news conference that while it is up to China to decide what kind of penalty should be imposed on criminals, “We have conveyed to the Chinese side that we have taken a heightened interest in the death penalty handed down to Japanese nationals.”

China informed Japan of the execution on Friday morning, Kishida said. 

The man was sentenced to death in December 2012 and the ruling became final in August last year, Japanese officials said, adding that he had met with his family on Thursday.

A Japanese embassy official in Beijing, who declined to be named, told reporters: “Our office in Dalian was informed this morning that the Intermediate Court of Dalian had executed a condemned Japanese.”

He said the case “was related to drugs”, without elaborating, and declined to identify the individual, citing reasons of privacy.

A court official in Dalian, a port city in the northeastern province of Liaoning, declined to comment.

Japan’s Jiji Press news agency said Friday’s execution, of a man in his 50s, was the fifth of a Japanese citizen in China in recent years, after four were put to death for drug smuggling in 2010.

That was Beijing’s first use of the death penalty against Japanese nationals since the two countries normalised ties in 1972.