• Kyodo


A Japanese man sentenced to prison in Guangzhou in 2019 has been released and will be returning home, the Japanese Consulate General in the city said Monday.

Although the man’s identity has not been revealed, he is believed to be an employee of major Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. in his 40s who was sentenced in the fall of 2019 for harming China’s national security, according to people familiar with the matter.

In November 2019, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi confirmed a male employee of Itochu had been sentenced the previous month in Guangzhou to a three-year prison term.

The consulate told Kyodo News on Monday that a Japanese man who had been arrested in the southern China city was recently released and is preparing to return to Japan.

The man was detained by the National Security Bureau on suspicion of spying during a visit to Guangzhou in February 2018. He was sentenced by a district court in the city to three years in prison on Oct. 15, 2019.

He also had 150,000 yuan ($21,300) confiscated as part of the sentence.

It is not known what he had done in China to be convicted of harming the country’s national security.

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