Lu Yueting, a former temporary worker of a food plant, was sentenced on Monday to lifetime imprisonment by a court in China after he admitted to contaminating frozen gyoza, or dumplings, produced by the company he worked for. The dumplings were exported to Japan and caused illness in at least 10 people in Japan six years ago.
The case had come to media attention January 2008, just before the Beijing Olympics, which triggered concerns in the region over food exported by China and contributed to the strained relations between Tokyo and Beijing. The dumplings, produced by a factory in China’s Hebei Province and run by Tianyang Food, were bought in Japan and made a 5-year-old girl seriously ill and at least nine others sick. Lu said that he used a syringe to put a highly toxic pesticide, methamidophos, into the frozen dumplings. He added that he tainted the dumplings to get the management’s attention, as he was dissatisfied over working conditions at the factory, and that he was treated as a temporary worker for about 15 years.
The ruling on the 39-year-old man was announced by the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People’s Court, and also comes at a time of when tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over territorial and historical issues are at the fore. Before Lu’s arrest in 2010, Chinese authorities had even denied that China was the source of the food, saying that it was highly unlikely and suggested that Japan was to blame.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan