23:17 GMT22 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Japanese Foreign Ministry is aware of its journalist's detention in Russia, but refrains from disclosing any information on this issue, a spokesman for the ministry stated.

    "We know that last year on 25 December, a journalist from the Kyodo news agency was detained by local law enforcement agencies. He had been found of collecting information and then he was released and the next day he left the country. The Japanese Foreign Ministry refrains from disclosing details on diplomatic contacts [on this matter]", the spokesman said.

    On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Japanese national had been expelled from Russia for an attempt to obtain secret materials about the military potential in the Far East.

    The Kyodo news agency issued a statement that the detainee was its staff journalist, working at that time on his material. He was detained in the Far East, after which he was taken to the law enforcement headquarter and released after five hours. He was warned to leave Russia within 72 hours.

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