China temporarily detains Japanese diplomat

A diplomat from the Japanese Embassy in Beijing was temporarily detained by authorities Monday in the Chinese capital, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Japanese government has lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters, saying, “We cannot ignore (the incident) and it is absolutely unacceptable.”

But the Chinese embassy in Tokyo refused to accept the protest, issuing a statement on Wednesday saying the diplomat had been investigated and questioned according to law after acting improperly, without give more details.

He added that Japan should abide by Chinese laws and strictly manage the behavior of its diplomats.

The statement was released after Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori summoned Yang Yu, acting charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, to the ministry on Tuesday evening and demanded that China apologize and prevents a repeat, saying the incident was clearly violated. the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which stipulates the inviolability of diplomats, the ministry said.

Yang told Mori he would report to his government, according to ministry officials.

Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi also made a similar request to Chinese Foreign Minister’s Assistant Wu Jianghao.

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the staff member was arrested on Monday afternoon while on a legitimate official mission, despite disclosing his profession to authorities. The diplomat was released a few hours later after discussions with the Chinese authorities and was not physically injured.

In 2002, a Japanese defense attaché was detained by Chinese authorities for 13 hours. A source from the ministry said such a detention had not happened recently in China.

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