The Tokyo High Court ruled on Tuesday that a Chinese man who has
been accused of embezzlement in China and is now living in Japan be
handed over to Beijing.
The 40-year-old former company president, currently residing in
Osaka, is suspected of misappropriating 1 million yuan (US$131,500)
from a government-funded trading company in northeast China's Liaoning Province.
The extradition of the man, whose name was not revealed, will be
the first since 1990 when a Chinese man was extradited after
hijacking a Chinese passenger flight and forcing it to land at
China and Japan have not signed an extradition treaty but have
agreed to hold consultations on inking such a pact to handle
prisoner transfers and criminal repatriation.
The agreement was reached during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Japan last month
and was included in a joint communiqué.
The two countries are also in substantive agreement on a treaty
for cooperation in criminal investigations by the end this year, a
goal confirmed by Wen and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe
during their talks in Tokyo last month.
The treaty on criminal investigations for which negotiations are
under way is aimed at enabling investigative authorities in the two
countries to exchange information without going through diplomatic
Experts say such treaties are necessary because the number of
Chinese criminal suspects living in Japan has reportedly increased.
But they pointed out it is vital for the two governments to assure
appropriate enforcement of sentences, given the disparity in
punishments for similar crimes in the two countries.
China has signed extradition treaties with more than 20
countries, including some Western nations such as Spain and
The basis for extradition cooperation lies in reciprocal trust
in the legal systems, said Huang Feng, a professor of international
law at Beijing Normal University.
Despite various barriers, China should also give priority to
signing such treaties with other countries in a bid to crack down
on criminals who flee abroad, Huang noted.
Around 800 economic crime suspects are reported to have fled to
other countries with more than 70 billion yuan (US$9.1 billion)
involved in the cases. Most of them are from the financial sector
or state-owned enterprises.
(China Daily May 10, 2007)