April 30, 2010

Japanese Foreign Ministry Warns Citizens Not to Break Chinese Laws Because Doing So Can Result in Death Penalty

Translation: 日本发布赴华旅游提醒 警告毒品犯罪可判死刑

According to the April 28th foreign travel information issued by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, all Japanese citizens currently in or will be soon visiting China are urged to "use caution and refrain from engaging in illegal activities while there," the reason being that drug trafficking in China can lead to capital punishment.

The foreign ministry officials claim that travel notices are usually issued during times of deteriorating security or terrorist attacks. The ones such as above, over concerns about punishment for criminal offenses in a specific country, are very rare. To date, China has executed 4 Japanese for drug smuggling. To prevent further incidences from happening, the Japanese Foreign Ministry intends to thoroughly inform its citizens of how China cracks down on crimes.

This travel notice states that "the Chinese government has always relentlessly investigated and prosecuted drug-related crimes. The punishment is severe, and the highest is death penalty." It asks Japanese who visit China to not participate in drug dealing. Furthermore, they should never help to guard or carry baggage whose contents they cannot vouch for.

Based on information released by the Embassy of Japan in China, as of January this year, the number of Japanese being detained for their involvement in drug-related crimes is 30. Among them, 4 have been executed.

---End of News---

Sidenote: At first I thought this was false news, but no, it came from Kyodo News, which seems legit judging by the information on Wikipedia. While I somewhat understand where the Foreign Ministry is coming from, I still think the wording of its request is quite strange--death penalty should not be the only reason to keep oneself from perpetrating crimes in a foreign country.

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