China detains Japanese for ‘spying’

Beijing, July 29 (IANS) China has reportedly detained a Japanese official from an exchange group for his alleged involvement in spying activities, but the Tokyo-based group denies any links with the man.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday that the man was detained in Beijing in mid-July for what Chinese authorities said his “role in espionage”.

An anonymous Japanese national told the Global Times on Thursday that the man may have ties to the biggest Japan-China exchange group in Chiyoda, Tokyo, the Japan-China Friendship Association, but the association confirmed tthat it had nothing to do with the man.

The man, who heads an organisation that promotes Japan-China exchanges, was scheduled to stay in Beijing from July 11-15, but did not return to Japan and had not been answering his phone, according to sources close to the Japanese government, Kyodo News reported, adding that he has a history of being involved with the Social Democratic Party, a minor opposition party.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was quoted by Kyodo News as saying that Japan “is not engaged in such activities toward any country,” and “the government is assisting the man through its embassy in Beijing and working to confirm the circumstances of his detention.”

Four Japanese have reportedly been arrested in China since May 2015.

–IANS

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