Japanese officials delay Paris Hilton from entering country for promotional tourBy Shino Yuasa, AP
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Drug case delays Paris Hilton from entering Japan
NARITA, Japan — Japanese officials questioned Paris Hilton at Tokyo’s airport for a second day Wednesday while they decide whether she will be admitted to the country after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Las Vegas.
The 29-year-old celebrity socialite was stopped by immigration authorities upon her arrival a Narita International Airport on Tuesday, one day after her plea, according to an e-mailed statement by Hilton’s representative, Dawn Miller.
Hilton spent the night at an airport hotel after being questioned by officials. She was scheduled to promote her fashion and fragrance lines at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, but that appearance was canceled.
“We met her this morning. The process of determining whether she can enter Japan or not is still ongoing,” said Kazuo Kashihara, an immigration official at Narita.
He declined to give a reason for the delay, but under Japanese law, immigration authorities are empowered to deny entry to those who have been convicted of drug-related offenses.
Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo declined to comment.
Tokyo was the first stop on Hilton’s planned Asia tour, during which she planned to visit Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and open a new retail store in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Both countries have strict drug laws, though an official in Indonesia, which does not bar foreigners convicted of crimes in other countries, said she was unlikely to be denied entry.
Miller’s statement said Hilton was disappointed with the scrutiny by Japanese authorities.
“Paris was contractually bound to her business trip and didn’t want to let down her brands and many Asian fans,” the statement said. “She intended on fulfilling her contract and is trying hard to do the responsible thing, but this is beyond her control. She is very disappointed by tonight’s events.”
The Asia trip had been planned before Hilton’s arrest last month in Las Vegas, when an officer found a small amount of cocaine in her purse. She pleaded guilty Monday to drug possession and obstructing an officer and was placed on informal probation for one year.
The terms of her sentence did not restrict travel overseas.
“We have no legal basis to restrict her from traveling throughout the United States or throughout the world,” Clark County District Attorney David Roger said.
Hilton’s sentence also requires her to complete a drug program, pay a $2,000 fine and serve 200 hours of community service. Her attorney said Monday that she planned to complete the service by volunteering with animal advocacy groups and children’s hospitals.
Hilton served 23 days in a Los Angeles-area jail in 2007 after she was found to have violated her probation on an alcohol-related reckless driving case.
She also was detained in South Africa in July during the World Cup on suspicion of marijuana possession, but the allegation was dropped when another woman in her group pleaded guilty to carrying the drug.
Associated Press Writers Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles, Oskar Garcia in Las Vegas, Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo and Irwan Firdaus in Jakarta, Indonesia, contributed to this report.
Tags: Arts And Entertainment, Asia, Celebrity, Drug-related Crime, East Asia, Immigration Policy, Indonesia, Jakarta, Japan, Java, Las Vegas, Narita, Nevada, North America, Southeast Asia, Tokyo, Travel Safety, United States