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A Japanese vice consul in Shenyang, China, did not warn local police — who entered the consulate compound to remove five North Korean asylum seekers earlier this month — that they were violating an international treaty, the Japanese government said Tuesday.

In a written statement, the government admitted the vice consul in charge of visa affairs at the consulate did not notify the Chinese police they were violating the Vienna convention in the May 8 incident.

The convention stipulates that the premises of diplomatic missions “shall be inviolable,” and that local police must gain permission from the head of such missions before entering them. Japan claims the Chinese police entered the consulate without Tokyo’s consent, while China maintains they received prior approval.

Japan insists the Chinese police violated the convention.

Regarding the way the consular officials dealt with the incident, the government admitted that the general staff did not notify the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo or the embassy in Beijing about the case until the five asylum seekers had been removed from the consulate and taken to a police station.

The government said the officials did not consider the incident to be an emergency and had not been trained to deal it with situations in which local police enter the consulate without Japan’s consent.

The statement, approved Tuesday morning by the Cabinet, was prepared in response to questions posed by Mitsuru Sakurai, a House of Councilors member of the Democratic Party of Japan.

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