Japanese diplomat “restrained and blindfolded” in Russia during FSB interrogation
Japan has summoned Russian ambassador in Tokyo after a Japanese diplomat was “blindfolded and physically restrained” during FSB interrogation in Vladivostok, Russia. Japanese foreign minister, Yoshimasa Hayashi confirmed that Tatsunori Motoki, a Japanese consul based in the eastern Russian city was subjected to a “coercive interrogation” during his detention by FSB security service of Russia.
The FSB has said that the security service of Russia was holding the Japanese consul on “allegations of espionage, one of which was linked to the effect of Ukraine war sanctions on Russia”. On previous occasions Kremlin has labelled Japan as a “hostile country” – a designation also given by Moscow to the US, Britain and EU countries. This was after Tokyo joined these countries in imposing sanctions on Moscow over the invasion in Ukraine.
In response to Moscow’s allegations, Hayashi said on Tuesday that Motoki was not involved in any illegal activity, calling his detention, that continued for several hours, as “totally unacceptable”. Furthermore, Japan’s foreign ministry has summoned the Russian ambassador in Tokyo, Mikhail Galuzin, according to the Kyodo news agency. Tokyo has demanded an apology from Moscow over treatment of its diplomat while warning of taking “equivalent steps”.
The FSB has alleged that Motoki was detained and has been accused of spying after obtaining alleged classified information in exchange for a payment. “A Japanese diplomat was detained red-handed while receiving classified information, in exchange for money, about Russia’s cooperation with another country in the Asia-Pacific region,” the FSB claimed in a statement carried by Russian news agencies on Monday. The FSB has also claimed that the Japanese consul had been “soliciting information about the impact on the eastern Primorsky region of sanctions imposed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine”.
Japan’s embassy in Moscow has lodged a protest with the Foreign Ministry of Russia while describing Motoki’s detention and interrogation as direct violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.