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Iran Press TV

Japan confirms detention of three nationals in China

Iran Press TV

Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:26AM

Japan has confirmed the detention of three of its nationals by Chinese authorities, rejecting, however, the charges of spying leveled by Beijing against them.

Japan's senior government spokesman Yoshihide Suga announced that a Japanese woman who had been detained back in June in China's major city of Shanghai was "formally arrested" in November.

He said another Japanese individual has also been placed under criminal detention following his initial arrest in the capital, Beijing, also back in June.

Chinese authorities announced in September that two Japanese citizens had been detained for engaging in suspected espionage activities.

Suga, however, said during his press briefing that, "Japan does not engage in such (spying) activities in any countries," without elaborating.

Local press accounts have thus put the total number of the Japanese national now held in China for spying at four, saying the series of detentions by Chinese authorities may further strain the already shaky relations between Asia's top two economies.

The development comes as China and Japan have adopted measures to improve bilateral relations, though the ties still remain tense.

Back in 2010, China temporarily arrested four Japanese citizens on suspicion of trespassing on a military zone and illegally taking photographs. The detentions came at a time of growing tensions between the two countries.

The ties between Tokyo and Beijing have long been troubled by a territorial dispute as well as by what China regards as Japan's failure to properly compensate its World War II-era atrocities.

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