China executes Japanese drug smuggler: State media
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Last Updated: Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 16:26
Beijing: China executed a convicted Japanese drug smuggler today, making him the first Japanese citizen to be put to death in the country since diplomatic ties were re-established in 1972.

Mitsunobu Akano, 65, was executed in the northeastern province of Liaoning, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting an announcement from China's top court, the Supreme People's Court.

Tokyo confirmed that Chinese officials had informed Japanese diplomats of the execution shortly after it took place. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama again said the case was "regrettable".

Akano was arrested in September 2006 at an airport in the northeastern city of Dalian while reportedly trying to smuggle 2.5 kilograms of narcotics from China to Japan.

"The courts had clear and irrefutable evidence of drug smuggling and the death sentence was handed down and carried out in line with Chinese law," Xinhua quoted the announcement saying.

It said Akano had been "treated legally". The report said some of the drugs were in the luggage of an accomplice but gave no other details on that person.

Officials at China's Supreme Court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.






First Published: Tuesday, April 06, 2010, 16:26

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