Nishimura Demands China Release Detained Japanese

DETROIT (Jiji Press) — Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura sought the early release of a male employee of Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. who has been detained by Chinese authorities since March, when he held talks with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao Friday.

Also during the talks, held in Detroit, Nishimura and Wang shared the view that it is important to continue dialogue, the Japanese minister said.

According to the Japanese trade ministry, the talks marked the first meeting between Japanese and Chinese trade ministers in about three and a half years.

“It is important to ensure a safe, fair and transparent business environment for corporate workers,” Nishimura told reporters after the talks.

Elsewhere in the meeting, Nishimura urged China to correct its policy of giving favorable treatment to domestic products and swiftly lift its restrictions on imports of Japanese food items that have been in place since Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant suffered a triple reactor meltdown caused by the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.

The Nishimura-Wang talks were held on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Detroit.