Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested China, on October 23, to take ‘positive actions’ in the case of an arrested Japanese man. The person is said to be a professor from Hokkaido University who was detained on the suspicion of spying. Japanese government’s top spokesperson said that the discussion was held between Abe and Chinese vice president Wang Qishan.
Chief cabinet secretary of the Japanese government, Yoshihide Suga, had informed that the man, in his 40s, was held in Beijing on unspecified charges of a possible violation of Chinese law. According to Japanese media, the man is believed to be a former Japanese Defence Ministry researcher at National Institute for Defense Studies and has been accused of espionage. Suga said that they strongly requested China to take positive actions on the man detained but didn’t elaborate on the ‘positive actions’. He said that a similar message had been conveyed to China at various levels.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying didn’t divulge any details about the case but said that they will handle it in accordance with the law. She also ensured that China will let the Japanese side to perform consular duties in accordance with the relevant provision. Calling it a one-off case, Chunying said that they hope Japan will remind their citizens to abide by Chinese law and regulations and avoid such activities in future.
The discussion between Abe and Qishan took place when the Chinese vice president was visiting Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony of emperor Naruhito. Naruhito proclaimed enthronement on October 22 after he acceded to the throne in May this year. Naruhito’s father, Akihito, relinquished his position becoming the first monarch in two centuries to do so. The last enthronement ritual was held in 1990 when Akihito acceded to the throne and was the first one to be covered on television.