Japan’s New Ambassador to China Meets Detained Astellas Employee

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Chinese national flag

BEIJING (Jiji Press) — Kenji Kanasugi, Japan’s new Ambassador to China, met Tuesday with a Japanese employee of drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. who has been held by Chinese authorities on suspicion of espionage, diplomatic sources said.

During the meeting, the Astellas employee said he has no particular health problems, according to the sources.

The Japanese national was detained in Beijing last March, when he was about to go back to Japan after finishing his assignment in the country. He was formally arrested in October.

At a Japan-China summit in November, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to release him at an early date.

It was the 10th meeting between the Astellas worker and a Japanese diplomat. Kanasugi’s predecessor, Hideo Tarumi, also met with him before leaving China.