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Japan blasts Russia, demands apology after diplomat detained

Japan on Tuesday accused Russia of unacceptable behavior and warned it will take “appropriate measures” in response, a day after the Russian federal security agency, the FSB, detained a Japanese diplomat in Vladivostok.

The official, identified in reports as Motoki Tatsunori, was accused of being a spy. Tatsunori is a consul at the Japanese Consulate General in Vladivostok, in Russia’s east. Tokyo denies the espionage accusation.

The Russian foreign ministry declared him persona non grata for activities “detrimental to Russia’s security interests.” The consul was released after a few hours of detention and given 48 hours to leave the country.

In a statement, the Japanese foreign ministry accused the FSB of “coercive” detention and interrogation, including Tatsunori being blindfolded and physically restrained, according to the Japanese Kyodo News agency.

The foreign ministry said that the physical coercion on a diplomat was a “violation” of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

Tokyo summoned Russian Ambassador Mikhail Galuzin on Tuesday to request an official apology, while adding that it will take “measures” in response.

“The Japanese government lodges a strong protest and requests an official apology from the Russian side and prevention of a recurrence. In addition, the Japanese government will take appropriate measures,” the statement said

The FSB claimed Tatsunori received classified information on cooperation between Russia and Asia-Pacific countries, as well as on the impact of Western sanctions on Russia’s far east region. He is accused of paying for the information.

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