Bochur in Japan Sentenced, Extradition Efforts Underway


japan-bochur-yosef-bandaBreaking report: The sentencing of Yosef ben Ita Rivka, Yosef Banda, the youngest of the three bochurim unfairly imprisoned in Japan, took place a short while ago, as had reported would be taking place. The Japanese judge ruled that Yosef would have spend 5 years in jail and pay a $40,000 fine for smuggling drugs into Japan, even though it was done unwittingly after a “friend” had asked him and his friends to take a suitcase to Japan. The boy’s lawyers asked the judge to count towards the five years the days that have passed since the boy was incarcerated, which amount to some 400 days. The judge, instead, said that he’d grant the boy the opportunity to count towards his sentence the days that have passed since he was charged, but not before then. Yosef has therefore been credited 266 days and his sentence comes to about two years and seven months.  

According to sources, the lawyers for the bochur are not going to appeal to Japan’s higher court, as that court is known to be extremely strict and has ruled for sentences of up to 2-15 years in prison for those who have committed similar acts of smuggling contraband into the country.

The lawyers are working feverishly to have Yosef extradited to Eretz Yisroel to serve the duration of his sentence in an Israeli prison, but it is not yet clear if that can be achieved. A formal request for extradition will have to be submitted to Japanese Justice Department and it is hoped that Japan will be willing to accept the proposal.

Yosef’s family has reacted to the sentence with mixed emotion. On the one hand, many had feared a much more stringent ruling by the judge, while at the same, relatives and friends were hoping for a neis that would have allowed Yosef to go free.

The hearing for the other two bochurim is going to scheduled within the next several month, as Klal Yisroel continues to daven for Yoel Zeev ben Mirel Risa Chava, Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel and Yosef ben Ita Rivka. 

{Yair Israel}


  1. Although this is terrible it appears that there is some real Chasdei Hashem here. After all they were originally talking 12 years. We must still daven that he should be allowed to go back to Israel at least.

  2. Why do you report “unfairly imprisoned in Japan”? They were fairly imprisoned as they committed a crime, lets not lie or hide the truth. Report the truth as it occurred.

    “for smuggling drugs into Japan” yes it is true that they did not know that they were smuggling “drugs” but they did know that they were “smuggling” something. Please stop sugar coating everything and trying to make it not be what it truly is. These boys had no business jumping at the chance for a free trip to Japan or anywhere if they agreed to lie and cheat and smuggle (against the law, a crime) anything for this chazar of a human being, who basically set them up for a fall. OK, did we get that straight? They broke the LAW and they got caught. What happens when you break the LAW and you get caught, you get punished. That is called consequences, they knew that was a risk of breaking the law. They took that risk and they got caught. OK, lets move on.

    Lets not make the Japanese courts the villains in this. They did not discriminate against these bochurim, as a matter of fact they were considerate and gave him time off for good behavior. So lets be grateful and say B”H. And lets be careful to report the truth and not twist the facts here. If we are careful in this manner it might help others to stay on the straight and narrow path and not try these stupid shtick that is not halachically nor legally permissible.

  3. if you dont believe in moshiach you can wait 5 years for this bochur for your daughter but bezret hashem this year for your daughter

  4. If a non-Jew came into Israel with a suitcase full of contraband, I’m sure would advocate minimum sentences and sending them home…