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Japanese man, 31, dies after too much alcohol

A SOUND engineer from Japanese broadcaster NHK has died after drinking too much alcohol in the southern Chinese town of Sanzao, a Chinese official said yesterday.

Moriyama Shota, 31, arrived at the seaside town in the Jinwan District of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, on April 3 together with three colleagues to shoot a TV documentary, said Li Shengfei, head of the Communist Party of China Jinwan District Committee.

The crew drank alcohol while eating supper at a restaurant along with several Chinese people, including local officials, on Wednesday night, and Shota drank too much, Li said.

"The crew had worked hard in the past few days and Shota seemed very tired after drinking alcohol," he said.

He did not say how much the Japanese man drank.

Local officials and a history expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who accompanied the crew suggested Shota's colleagues should take him to hospital, but one of the crew, Uchiyama Taku, said there should be no problem with him because they had been able to drink much more alcohol when they were in Japan, Li said.

Ambulance called

They stayed at the Jinmao Hotel in Zhuhai that night and a crew member was asked to accompany Shota.

At 8:08am the next day local officials were informed that Shota was in a coma, Li said.

"A staff member from the Chinese Association for Radio, Film and Television Exchanges who also accompanied the crew told local officials via telephone that they had called the first-aid center to send an ambulance and they had also called the police," he said.

"But first-aid doctors confirmed that Moriyama Shota had died at about 8:40am," he said.

Police doctors found vomit in Moriyama Shota's mouth and nose, he said.

"Doctors said it was likely the vomit had blocked his respiratory tract and he had suffocated," Li said. "But the exact cause of his death is still being investigated."

Li told Xinhua that local authorities had informed Shota's relatives and they were asked to bring his medical records to help Chinese police.

The Japanese crew had been approved by China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, Li added.

The documentary the crew were shooting, temporarily titled "Japanese Navy's Confession," will record a rarely known history about a massacre carried out by the Japanese navy on April 8, 1938.


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