Takuma Sakuragi, a local assemblyman from central Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, is currently being detained in China on suspicion of possessing 3 kilograms of illegal stimulant drugs, this according to information from the Inazawa Municipal Government on Friday. The 70-year-old politician, a member of the Inazawa Municipal Assembly, was reportedly taken into police custody at Guangzhou’s Baiyun airport on Oct. 31.
According to Chinese authorities, the illegal drugs were allegedly found in his suitcase during a customs check on his way back to Japan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry also has the information and they have informed Inazawa officials of his arrest. Sakuragi had flown over to China on Oct. 29, apparently to conduct business related to his trading company. The politician, now in his fifth term, has denied the charges.
China has historically been very forceful in its decisions against drug offenders. As the country has many different entry points from many neighboring countries due to the length and breadth of its boundaries, it has had to vigorously protect its territories from the very real problem of drug smuggling – whether into or coming out of the country. The Foreign Ministry has said that drug smugglers caught in China can face the death penalty, and Sakuragi – if proven guilty – can face the same punishment. In 2010, it can be remembered that China executed 4 Japanese nationals who were proven guilty of smuggling illegal drugs.
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