Tokyo summons Russia’s ambassador to protest arrest of consul

Tokyo, Sep 27 (EFE).- Tokyo summoned Russian ambassador Mikhail Yurievich Galuzin to the foreign ministry on Tuesday to protest against the arrest of Japan’s Vladivostok consul Tatsunori Motoki, whom Moscow has accused of espionage.

Japan’s vice foreign minister Takeo Mori asked Galuzin to appear at the ministry after Motoki was arrested Monday, accused of receiving classified information about Russia’s cooperation with an unnamed Asia-Pacific country and the influence of Western sanctions in the country’s far east in exchange for money.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said at a Tuesday press conference that Russia had declared the consul persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours.

Hayashi added that the diplomat had been unacceptably blindfolded and restrained during interrogation, but that Motoki had been released and does not have any resulting health problems.

The arrest coincides with Japan’s imposition of new sanctions on Moscow during Monday’s Cabinet meeting, adding to existing restrictions on exports of chips and imports of Russian goods such as precious metals and vodka.

The new sanctions add 21 research institutes and shipyards linked to the Russian military to the list of entities with which Japan has restricted trade. The export of goods with potential use in the chemical and biological weapons industry will also be prohibited, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Japan has been imposing sanctions not only on Russian exports and imports, but also on Russian citizens, including President Vladimir Putin, and Belarusians for the apparent support of that country for the operation. EFE


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