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The Nikkei View

China must immediately release detained Japanese citizen

Opaque interpretation of law means anybody can be arrested anytime

China under President Xi Jinping has been cracking down on foreign citizens in the name of strengthening national security. (Photo by Yusuke Hinata)

Chinese authorities have detained a Beijing-based Japanese employee of Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the man is suspected of engaging in espionage activities and violating the country's criminal and counterespionage laws.

As was the case in past detentions, the Chinese side has not disclosed what specific actions breached the law. Beijing's interpretation of the law is extremely opaque, and we call on the government to immediately release the man.

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