• Kyodo

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A Chinese court sentenced a 72-year-old Japanese man to life in prison Friday for trying to smuggle 1.8 kg of stimulant drugs into South Korea from China.

The Beijing Intermediate People’s Court handed down the ruling to Koshiro Takemura of Osaka.

Beijing International Airport customs officers arrested Takemura on June 7, 2001, after body searches revealed he and a South Korean male were carrying stimulant drugs in vinyl pouches strapped around their waists.

The South Korean was expelled from China after claiming he had no idea what he was carrying and had only been following Takemura’s orders.

An official with the Japanese Embassy in Beijing said embassy staff will meet Takemura to see if he is planning to lodge an appeal against the ruling, and will provide him with “essential support.”

In October, Chinese authorities executed a South Korean man for possessing 800 grams of stimulant drugs.

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