Prosecutors won't appeal Chinese man's acquittal in lay judge trial (Mainichi Japan) February 2, 2011

A Chinese national is set to be the first criminal defendant in Japan whose acquittal in a lay-judge trial will be confirmed. Prosecutors have decided not to appeal the acquittal of the 33-year-old man, who was charged with smuggling stimulants into Japan, apparently after deeming that it would be difficult to prove his guilt in an appeal trial, law enforcement sources said. Two days after entering Japan on April 13, 2010, on a tourist visa, the man was arrested in Tokyo for accepting about 4.5 kilograms of stimulants, worth approximately 366 million yen, sent by mail from Hong Kong. He was subsequently indicted on charges of smuggling the illegal drugs in violation of the Stimulants Control Law. During his trial, the man pleaded not guilty, claiming that he did not know that the contents of the mail item were illegal drugs. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office asserted that the man was guilty on the grounds that his mobile phone records showed he never contacted the sender of the stimulants, therefore, he knew in advance the mail item would be sent to him, and that he received the mail item under a false name. On Jan. 24, the Tokyo District Court found him not guilty, pointing to the possibility that he did not know that the mail item contained stimulants.