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Japanese diplomat is ‘blindfolded and pinned down’ while interrogated by Russian agents

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Japanese diplomat is ‘blindfolded and pinned down’ as he is interrogated by Russian agents who accused him of spying – as Tokyo rages at ‘incredible deeds’

  • Tokyo demanded apology from Moscow for treatment of detainee diplomat
  • Consul in eastern city of Vladivostok arrested for alleged espionage activities
  • Japan claimed he was blindfolded, with pressure on his hands and head
  • FSB accused him of spying on Russia’s cooperation with another Asian country

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Japan on Tuesday demanded that Russia apologize for detaining a diplomat for alleged espionage, deny the charge and accuse Moscow of blindfolding and pinning the man in “incredible acts.”

Motoki Tatsunori, a Japanese diplomat based in the eastern city of Vladivostok, was considered “persona non grata due to illegal intelligence activities,” top spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, citing Russia’s foreign ministry.

“The officer was blindfolded and pressure was applied to his hands and head so that he could not move while being held, and then he was questioned in a presumptuous manner,” Matsuno said.

Japan “protests vigorously against these incredible acts,” he said, denying the allegations of espionage.

The released consul has not had any health problems and will leave Russia on Wednesday, Matsuno said.

The FSB had previously said Tatsunori had been declared persona non grata after being caught “red-handed” receiving classified information, in exchange for money, about Russia’s cooperation with another country in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno accused Moscow of blindfolding and pinning a Japanese diplomat in 'incredible deeds'

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno accused Moscow of blindfolding and pinning a Japanese diplomat in ‘incredible deeds’

The diplomat had also requested information about “the impact of Western sanctions” on the eastern Primorsky region, the FSB said, according to news agencies.

Japan summoned the Russian ambassador and “demands a formal apology” for the diplomat’s treatment in detention, which Matsuno said violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

“The detained consul did not engage in any illegal activities,” Matsuno said.

The Russian security service released a short video in which the diplomat allegedly acknowledged that he had violated Russian laws, and Moscow allegedly protested Tokyo through diplomatic channels.

Russia considers Japan a “hostile” country – a designation it shares with all countries of the European Union, the United States and its allies, including Britain and Australia.

Tokyo had complex relations with Moscow before the invasion of Ukraine in February, and the two sides have yet to sign a peace treaty after World War II.

Attempts to do so have been hampered by a long-running dispute over islands controlled by Russia, which calls them the Kuril Islands.