China Formally Arrests Japanese Executive for Alleged Espionage

Japanese official confirmed the arrest on Oct. 19 and called on the Chinese communist regime to free its citizen to avoid further damage to their relations.The Chinese regime has formally arrested a Japanese national, who was detained in March, on allegations of spying as the tensions between the two nations have worsened.Japanese official confirmed the arrest during a press conference in Tokyo on Oct. 19 and called on the Chinese communist regime to free its citizens to avoid further damage to their relations.Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, "We have also strongly urged China for an immediate release at various levels, and we will continue to do so."Related StoriesMr. Matsuno added that the man, in his mid-50s, was formally arrested in mid-October.According to Japanese media Kyodo News, the detained man is an executive working for Japanese drugmaker Astellas and has been detained in Beijing since March on suspicion of "engaging in espionage activities and violating anti-espionage law."Kyodo News reported that the individual has worked in China for 20 years, previously serving as a senior official of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China.The Japanese Embassy has met with the man six times to check his health, according to Nikkie Asia. An Astellas spokesman said the company was still gathering information via Japan’s Foreign Ministry.The Chinese regime has not revealed the detailed charges against the detained Japanese citizen. In April, when then-Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi visited China, he formally protested the incident and called for the swift release of this individual during a meeting with then-Chinese counterpart Qin Gang. China's New Counter-Espionage Law and Exit Bans Foreign employees in China are at risk after Beijing introduced its renewed Counter-Espionage Law in July, tightening state control over information transfer related to national security and expanding the national security definition. Previously, the legal definition of espionage focused on the disclosure of so-called state secrets and intelligence. The new version expanded the definition to include documents, data, information, and items related to national security, as well as instigating, inducing, coercing, or bribing state employees.On June 30, a day before the new anti-spying law officially went into effect on July 1, the U.S. State Department issued the travel advisory, urging U.S. citizens to "reconsider travel to mainland China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions."The State Department warned that Beijing has interrogated and detained foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens living and working in China, for alleged violations of its national security law.A broader definition of national security allows Beijing "to detain and prosecute foreign nationals for alleged espionage." China uses exit bans to force foreigners to participate in Beijing probes, to pressure the family members of dissidents overseas, and to gain leverage over foreign governments, the State Department warned in the travel advisory.Beijing's exit bans have further worried foreign businesses, which has worsened since earlier this year as the Chinese regime has not only detained the Japanese Astellas Pharma executive but has also targeted U.S. firms. It raided due-diligence company Mintz and consulting firm Capvision, questioned Bain & Co.'s staff, and investigated chip maker Micron.Last month, the American Chamber of Commerce's poll found that American business confidence in China reached a record low in decades. A survey in August showed that more than half of the Japanese companies in China expressed concern over their future operations in the country over the new anti-espionage law.Jon Sun and Reuters contributed to this report.

China Formally Arrests Japanese Executive for Alleged Espionage

Japanese official confirmed the arrest on Oct. 19 and called on the Chinese communist regime to free its citizen to avoid further damage to their relations.

The Chinese regime has formally arrested a Japanese national, who was detained in March, on allegations of spying as the tensions between the two nations have worsened.

Japanese official confirmed the arrest during a press conference in Tokyo on Oct. 19 and called on the Chinese communist regime to free its citizens to avoid further damage to their relations.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, "We have also strongly urged China for an immediate release at various levels, and we will continue to do so."

Mr. Matsuno added that the man, in his mid-50s, was formally arrested in mid-October.

According to Japanese media Kyodo News, the detained man is an executive working for Japanese drugmaker Astellas and has been detained in Beijing since March on suspicion of "engaging in espionage activities and violating anti-espionage law."

Kyodo News reported that the individual has worked in China for 20 years, previously serving as a senior official of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China.

The Japanese Embassy has met with the man six times to check his health, according to Nikkie Asia. An Astellas spokesman said the company was still gathering information via Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

The Chinese regime has not revealed the detailed charges against the detained Japanese citizen. In April, when then-Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi visited China, he formally protested the incident and called for the swift release of this individual during a meeting with then-Chinese counterpart Qin Gang.

China's New Counter-Espionage Law and Exit Bans

Foreign employees in China are at risk after Beijing introduced its renewed Counter-Espionage Law in July, tightening state control over information transfer related to national security and expanding the national security definition. Previously, the legal definition of espionage focused on the disclosure of so-called state secrets and intelligence. The new version expanded the definition to include documents, data, information, and items related to national security, as well as instigating, inducing, coercing, or bribing state employees.
On June 30, a day before the new anti-spying law officially went into effect on July 1, the U.S. State Department issued the travel advisory, urging U.S. citizens to "reconsider travel to mainland China due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws, including in relation to exit bans, and the risk of wrongful detentions."

The State Department warned that Beijing has interrogated and detained foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens living and working in China, for alleged violations of its national security law.

A broader definition of national security allows Beijing "to detain and prosecute foreign nationals for alleged espionage." China uses exit bans to force foreigners to participate in Beijing probes, to pressure the family members of dissidents overseas, and to gain leverage over foreign governments, the State Department warned in the travel advisory.

Beijing's exit bans have further worried foreign businesses, which has worsened since earlier this year as the Chinese regime has not only detained the Japanese Astellas Pharma executive but has also targeted U.S. firms. It raided due-diligence company Mintz and consulting firm Capvision, questioned Bain & Co.'s staff, and investigated chip maker Micron.
Last month, the American Chamber of Commerce's poll found that American business confidence in China reached a record low in decades. A survey in August showed that more than half of the Japanese companies in China expressed concern over their future operations in the country over the new anti-espionage law.

Jon Sun and Reuters contributed to this report.