Jiji Press SHANGHAI (Jiji Press) — A Chinese court ordered a 12-year prison term for a Japanese man over spying and other charges, Japanese government sources said Tuesday.
Hangzhou Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang Province handed down the sentence to the 54-year-old man from Aichi Prefecture.
He was the first to receive a court ruling among eight Japanese nationals who were indicted on suspicion of being involved in spying activities in China.
According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry and other sources, the man was held by Chinese authorities in May 2015 near a military facility in Wenzhou in the same province and was indicted in May 2016.
He has worked in staff service and other industries and frequently visited China. It is unclear at this point, however, what actions led to his spying charges.
In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference that the Japanese government will provide as much support for him as possible.
While declining to clarify whether Tokyo lodged a protest with Beijing, Suga underscored the importance of both China and Japan endeavoring not to greatly affect Japan-China relations, which are improving.
Since 2014, China has established counterespionage and national security laws under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and tightened its guard against the spread of Western values in the country, resulting in a series of arrests and indictments against Japanese nationals.Speech