ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
International relations

Itochu employee has been detained for the last year in China

Japanese man may have already been indicted for undermining national security

About 1,000, or 30%, of Itochu's career-track employees have passed a Chinese language efficiency test.

BEIJING -- A Japanese male employee of general trader Itochu has been held in detention by China's counterintelligence ministry in Guangzhou for about a year, an informed source said Thursday.

It is unusual for an employee of a large Japanese trading company to be held for a long period in China.

The Japanese man was detained in February last year. The Ministry of State Security, responsible for cracking down on spy activities by foreign nationals, is believed to have detained him potentially on suspicion of acts that undermine national security. A separate source said he may have already been indicted.

The ministry has detained a number of Japanese since 2015, of whom eight remain in detention. Of the eight, all four detained in 2015 were sentenced without suspension to prison terms by December 2018 in first trials, including one sentenced to 12 years.

An Itochu insider acknowledged the detention of its employee, saying, "We can't deny that an employee is in detention."

Itochu has been actively pursuing expansion of its Chinese business, which led it to acquire a stake in Citic. About 1,000, or 30%, of Itochu's career-track employees have passed a Chinese language efficiency test. Uichiro Niwa, a former chairman of the company, served as Japanese ambassador to China from 2010 to 2012.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends October 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media