Noguchi Gets Rare Sunday Trial

The trial of Takayuki Noguchi, the Japanese aid worker arrested by China last December, was convened at 9:00AM Sunday, May 9, China time in Chong Zuo Intermediate People’s Court. The time seemed deliberately chosen to minimize public attention. Noguchi was technically given an “open trial,” but Chinese authorities avoided announcing the trial date to the media or to LFNKR, though this information had been repeatedly requested.

It is extremely rare for China to hold a public trial on a Sunday. In addition, a very small courtroom was selected, and no other trials were scheduled for that day. The few gallery seats in the room were reserved for Chinese authorities and the Japanese consul.

The Japanese reporter from Yomiuri Newspaper was told that no seats were available, and he was denied entry into the courtroom. This constitutes a de-facto closed-door trial.

LFNKR did receive limited information from certain Japanese media sources:

Takayuki Noguchi showed up in handcuffs, guarded on both sides and appeared to have no difficulty walking. When the one reporter present asked him, “Is your health alright?” Noguchi responded by nodding, then was escorted into the courtroom through the front door.

Only involved parties were being allowed in.

The trial ended at 4:00PM China time, and Noguchi was escorted out the front door. All of the 13 court gallery seats were occupied by the officially allowed “involved parties,” which included the Consul General of Japan in Guangzhou, the Guangxi Foreign Affairs Officer, Chinese police, and the judiciary.

Noguchi’s trial was the only one held in Chong Zuo Intermediate People’s Court on Sunday, May 9.

No information regarding the trial has been made available.

The Court’s involved parties said that no date has been set for the next phase of the trial.

Report submitted by Kenkichi Nakadaira, Board Chairman
Life Funds for North Korean Refugees