July 25, 2014 2:29 pm JST

Japanese man executed in China over drug smuggling

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Chinese authorities executed on Friday a Japanese man who had been sentenced to death in connection with stimulant drug smuggling, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said.

     The identity of the man is not immediately known.

     Kishida told a news conference that while it is up to China to decide what kind of penalty should be imposed on criminals, "We have conveyed to the Chinese side that we have taken a heightened interest in the death penalty handed down to Japanese nationals."

     China informed Japan of the execution in the morning, Kishida said. A court in Dalian in northeastern China conveyed the information to the Japanese consular office in the city, according to the Foreign Ministry.

     In China, the smuggling of 50 grams or more of amphetamines is an offense punishable by death. In 2010, four Japanese were executed in China for stimulant drug smuggling.