Sun, Jan 01, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Japan tried to `hide' suicide

AFP , TOKYO

Japan initially urged China not to disclose a Japanese diplomat's suicide, the Chinese embassy here said on its Web site yesterday, following media reports the diplomat had been blackmailed by Beijing.

"After the incident, China and Japan communicated over many occasions through diplomatic routes. Japan declared the diplomat killed himself due to his job stress and asked the Chinese side not to disclose it to respect the wills of his family," the embassy said in the statement.

"As the Japanese media suddenly began reporting the incident recently, the Japanese government attempted to blame the Chinese side without looking at the facts."

Media reports here said the Shanghai-based diplomat, who was in his 40s and in charge of encryption of classified communications with Tokyo, left suicide notes saying he was threatened over his relationship with a hostess at a karaoke club. He killed himself in May last year.

The weekly Bunshun magazine said that a Chinese intelligence agency was pressuring the diplomat to leak the contents of Tokyo-bound reports from the then Shanghai-based consul-general Nobuyuki Sugimoto.

The agency also wanted information on Japanese encryption systems, the magazine said in a six-page report citing various unnamed foreign ministry sources.

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