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China detains Japanese national on suspicion of espionage



China government has responded to a demand by Japan for the immediate release of a Japanese national who is being detained by the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in a statement on Monday, said the Japanese citizen is being detained on suspicion of espionage and violating the country’s criminal and anti-espionage laws.

Tokyo had called for the release of the man and also sought consular access to the suspect said to be in his fifties.

Japanese government spokesperson, Hirokazu Matsuno, had told reporters earlier on Monday that Tokyo’s embassy in China had been informed “this month that a Japanese man in his fifties was detained in Beijing.”

“Ever since we learned about this case, the Japanese government has been strongly urging the immediate release of this Japanese national,” Matsuno said.

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But while addressing a press conference on Monday morning, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning said:

“Relevant Chinese authorities took criminal coercive measures this month against a Japanese citizen, in accordance with the law.

“This Japanese citizen is suspected of engaging in espionage activities, in violation of the criminal law and the anti-espionage law of the People’s Republic of China.

“China is a country under the rule of law. All foreign nationals in China must abide by Chinese laws, and offenders are prosecuted according to law,” she added.

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