China allows Japanese diplomats to meet with detained citizen

China allows Japanese diplomats to meet with detained citizen

Pharmaceutical professional was detained on spying charges in March just before his planned return to home

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – China has granted a Japanese citizen detained on spying charges in-person consular access, local media reported on Friday.

Diplomats from the Japanese Embassy in Beijing met with the detained man, a 50-year-old pharmaceutical professional.

“The meeting took place Wednesday in the Chinese capital and an examination by an accompanying medical officer confirmed the man had no health issues. Embassy officials conveyed a message from his family,” Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

In March, Beijing informed Tokyo that an employee of the pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma had been detained on suspicion of espionage.

Earlier, Beijing had allowed only virtual consular access to the detained Japanese citizen.

The Astellas Pharma employee was arrested by Chinese authorities just before his planned return to Japan in March.

Around 17 Japanese nationals have been detained in China since 2015 for their alleged involvement in espionage activities.

After the adoption of a counter-espionage law in 2014 and a national security law in 2015, China has reported several cases of espionage.

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