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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Sunday Anti-Russian Orgy

Kommersant reports on more evidence of Vladimir Putin's wonderful success in winning friends and allies for Russia:

Reports came from Japan yesterday (Jan. 16) that a had recruited had recruited an employee of the Russian military intelligence officerJapanese government information service and received secret documents from him. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda stated that he was stunned by the scandal in his own office. The Russian Embassy in Tokyo stated that the affair is the work of enemies of Russia.

Although charges have been made against Russian embassy and trade office workers in Japan before, this case is truly unprecedented. The 52-year-old alleged recruit works for the Japanese cabinet's Information Research Office, an intelligence service that lacks its own agents but reportedly receives massive amounts of information from the American CIA as well as from spy satellites. That information is used to produce secret reports for the Japanese prime minister. The agency is located beneath the ground of the prime ministers residential complex.

The accused spy worked in the administrative department of the intelligence office. He had been acquainted for several years with the second secretary of the Russian embassy, who allegedly works for the Main Intelligence Department of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian abbreviation GRU). They met in restaurants several times last year.

It was at these meetings that the transfer of secret information is said to have taken place. At the end of December the Tokyo Security Police conducted a search of the Information Research Office and confiscate the material that became of basis of the current accusation. The Japanese suspect has been questioned several times, but has not been arrested yet. Press reports claim that he has confessed to passing the secret information. Now investigators are trying to prove that he took money for the information. After that, the case will be transferred to the prosecutor. Sources say that may take place next week. The Russian embassy official has already left Japan.

Additionally the paper reports:

Japanese ultra-rightist organizations have reacted sharply to the recent spy scandalbetween Russia and Japan. They have begun protests near the Russian embassy, the country's trade office and the state news agency, RIA Novosti. Black buses decorated with nationalistic slogans are circulating through downtown Tokyo broadcasting anti-Russian sentiments over loudspeakers.


Extra police units, rapid response squads and plainclothesmen have been called in to maintain order and protect Russian property. The streets around the Russian offices have been blocked and armored buses with special forces troops are at the sites. Police helicopters are circling downtown Tokyo. Russian citizens are being advised by the Japanese police to exercise particular caution on the streets.

Russian Embassy press attachй in Tokyo Sergey Yasenev has expressed “regret and perplexity” at the spying charges. Head of the Russian consul Oleg Ryabov has been asked to the Japanese Foreign Ministry and informed that “in the event that the fact [of the transfer of information] is confirmed, it will be an extremely serious incident and a decisive protest will be made to the [Russian side].”

According to the Japanese Main Police Prefecture, the information handed over did not concern national security. It was rather information on Japanese public opinion and the reaction of foreign governments to Japanese domestic affairs. All the information was in written, not digital, form.

Japanese nationalists often hold actions timed to visits of Russian officials to Japan and notable dates in Japanese-Russian relations. They usually demand the return of the Southern Kurile Islands to Japan and the departure of Russians from the country.

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