Russian trade official suspected of buying Toshiba company secrets in Japan

A Russian trade official formerly stationed in Japan has been accused of buying company secrets from a worker at a subsidiary of Japanese electronics maker Toshiba, police said Thursday.

Police sent the case on Thursday to public prosecutors for the start of the criminal investigation, according to an official of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police who spoke on customary condition of anonymity.

The official only identified the two as a 35-year-old Russian man working for the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation of Japan, and a 30-year Japanese man.

The Russian trade office refused to comment on the case. The Japanese man worked for Toshiba Discrete Semiconductor Technology Corp., a Toshiba spokeswoman said. The subsidiary had no immediate comment on the case.

The Japanese man was suspected of selling secrets to the Russian nine times between September 2004 and May 2005 for a total of 1 million yen (US$8,700; euro7,300), the police official said.

Kyodo News agency said that the information was related to semiconductors which could be used for missile guidance systems, submarines, radars for fighter planes and other military applications.

National broadcaster NHK reported that the Russian returned home in June, reports the AP.


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