Asia,  Japan

Paris (not) in Tokyo

If you’ve been recently denied a VISA to Japan, don’t fret.  Even famous celebrities are denied the pleasure of seeing the land of the rising sun…

Paris Hilton was denied entry to Japan today, two days after she pleaded guilty to a drug charge in Las Vegas.

Japan has strict immigration laws that bar entry to those convicted of drug offences, although exceptions are occasionally granted.

“I’m going back home, and I look forward to coming back to Japan in the future,” Hilton told reporters before departing on her private jet.

The 29-year-old celebrity socialite had been due to appear today at a news conference in Tokyo to promote her fashion and fragrance lines. She arrived yesterday evening, but was stopped at the airport and spent the night at an airport hotel after being questioned by officials.

She also abruptly cancelled planned appearances in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Her publicist, Dawn Miller, said Hilton planned to make the trips at a later date. “Paris is very disappointed and fought hard to keep her business commitments and see her fans, but she is forced to postpone her commitments in Asia,” she said in a statement.

“Paris understands and respects the rules and laws of the immigration authorities in Japan and fully wishes to co-operate with them.”

A Japanese immigration official said Hilton was denied entry after a total of about six hours of questioning.

The country has taken a tough line with famous figures in the past. Diego Maradona was initially barred during the 2002 World Cup finals for past drug offences, but was eventually given a 30-day visa as a “special delegate”.

The Rolling Stones struggled for years to gain entry to Japan and were eventually allowed in despite the band members’ drug convictions. In January 1980, Paul McCartney was arrested for marijuana possession at Narita airport. He was deported without carrying out a planned concert tour by his group Wings.

Kazuo Kashihara, an immigration official at Narita international airport, said if Hilton had applied for an entry permit farther ahead of her arrival, there might have been a chance for Japan’s justice minister to consider an exception. “She just showed up the day after [pleading guilty],” he said.

Just before taking off, Hilton tweeted a message to her fans: “Going home now. So disappointed to miss my fans in Asia. I promise to come back soon. I love you all! Love Paris xoxo.”

Article originally appeared on guardian.uk.

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