The diplomat sits in front of a camera, bows his head, claims he "understood," violated laws, and tried to get secret information: this humiliating performance is part of the latest Russian pinprick against the Tokyo government.

Patrick Welter

Correspondent for business and politics in Japan based in Tokyo.

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Frederick Smith

Political correspondent for Russia and the CIS in Moscow.

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The FSB secret service announced on Monday evening that it had arrested an employee of the Japanese consulate general in far-eastern Vladivostok.

He was "caught in the act" receiving payment for "information" about Russia's cooperation with "one of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region" and the impact of Western sanctions on the region's economy.

In addition, the FSB published the video in which you should first see the diplomat in a restaurant;

his opponent is made unrecognizable, one does not see a handover.

Then the images from the FSB interrogation follow.

Details remained completely unclear, such as who the Japanese met and whether anyone else - a Russian informant, for example - was arrested.

The diplomat was declared an undesirable person that evening, which means his expulsion from Russia, and Japan received a protest note.

Russia classifies Japan as an "unfriendly" country

For its part, the Japanese government asked Russia to apologize for the incident and summoned the Russian ambassador to Tokyo.

The diplomat was treated in an incredible way, a government spokesman said.

He was blindfolded during the arrest.

At the same time, pressure was exerted on the arms and head, so that the diplomat could not move.

Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi condemned the incident as a violation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

The consul did not act illegally, Hayashi told journalists and demanded a formal request for an apology from Russia and precautions that such incidents do not happen again in the future.

He also announced Japanese countermeasures.

Like the other G-7 countries, Japan is classified by Russia as an “unfriendly” country.

Both sides expelled diplomats from each other during the Ukraine war.

Russia has also broken off negotiations for a peace treaty.

However, relations are more complicated: Japan supports most of the Western sanctions against Moscow, but at the same time is holding on to equity investments in gas and oil production companies on the Russian island of Sakhalin in order to secure energy supplies.