Indefinite prison finalized for Japanese man in China

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Takuma Sakuragi

BEIJING (Jiji Press) — A Chinese high court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling sentencing a 79-year-old Japanese man to be imprisoned for an indefinite term for drug smuggling, finalizing his sentence.

The Guangdong High People’s Court rejected an appeal filed by the man, Takuma Sakuragi, a former member of the city assembly of Inazawa, Aichi Prefecture, against the ruling handed down by the Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in 2019.

In 2013, Sakuragi was found carrying over 3 kilograms of stimulants in a suitcase at an airport in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province.

At a court hearing in June this year, Sakuragi insisted on his innocence, saying that he had no idea what was inside the suitcase, and that he had been tricked into carrying the luggage.

According to his lawyer, the high court concluded that Sakuragi could have learned the content of the suitcase when he was handed the luggage by another person.

The lawyer said that the high court decision was regrettable.