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 ($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 Fukuoka Airport.
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
The agreement was reached when Premier Wen Jiabao visited Japan last month
and was included in a joint communiqu.
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
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 channels.
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
China has signed extradition treaties with more than 20 countries, including
some Western nations such as Spain and France.
The basis for extradition cooperation lies in reciprocal trust in the legal
systems, said Huang Feng, a professor of international law at Beijing Normal
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 ($9.1 billion) involved in the cases.
Most of them are from the financial sector or State-owned enterprises.
(China Daily 05/10/2007 page1)