• Kyodo

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A Russian diplomat suspected of illegally obtaining proprietary information belonging to SoftBank Corp. left Japan for Russia on Monday, investigative sources said.

Anton Kalnin, 52, the second-highest official at the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in Japan, allegedly received the information from Yutaka Araki, a former employee of the major mobile carrier, in February last year. Araki, 48, was arrested in late January.

Kalnin left on a flight from Narita Airport near Tokyo in the afternoon, the sources said. Police are considering referring his case to prosecutors for violation of the unfair competition prevention law.

The police had requested through the Foreign Ministry that the Russian Embassy present Kalnin and another Russian official thought to be involved in the theft who returned to Russia in 2017. The official in his 40s is believed to have first contacted Araki before passing on the connection to Kalnin.

The embassy did not respond, according to the sources.

SoftBank, a unit of SoftBank Group Corp., has said that the leaked information was related to manuals for mobile phone base stations and other communications facilities.

Araki, who was fired in mid-December, has admitted he received money for providing the information kept in data storage devices to the Russian side, investigators have said.

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