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Japanese Lawmaker's Drug Trafficking Trial Continues in China

The trial of Japanese politician Takuma Sakuragi, accused of trying to smuggle more than three kilograms of crystal methamphetamine out of China, continued in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou for a second day August 27, state media reported.

State television CCTV broadcast footage of a vehicle believed to be carrying 71-year-old Sakuragi to the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

Sakuragi was stopped by airport security on October 31 last year after the drugs were allegedly found in his suitcase during a baggage inspection at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport while on his way to catch a flight back to Japan, state-run newspaper China Daily reported.

Drug-related crimes carry harsh penalties in China, including a death sentence or life imprisonment in serious cases.

Lawyers for Sakuragi, a member of the Inazawa municipal assembly in Aichi Prefecture in Japan, said he has denied the charges and insisted he was unaware of the presence of the drugs in his bag, Japanese media reported.

CCTV said two other men, one from Mali and another from Guinea, were also tried in connection with the case.

The trial is set to adjourn after Wednesday's hearing, CCTV said, citing court officials.