2022: Accused Japan-China Friendship “Spy” Hideji Suzuki Talks About His Torture and Imprisonment in China

Mainichi Shimbun in October – November 2022 published a four part series on the detention, torture and six year imprisonment of Hideji Suzuki who returned on Japan after completing his sentence in October 2023.

Below are links to the Mainichi series. I also translated two Japanese press report. The first, from NHK, focuses on psychological torture during the seven-month long “residential surveillance” and interrogation at the beginning of his six year sentence. The balance her served in a detention center and in Beijing Prison #2. The second, the first part of a story that appeared in the January 2023 issue of Chūō Kōron (中央公論) , focuses on Suzuki’s interrogation.

Part four of the Mainichi series has some China insights shared with Suzuki by some of his fellow detainees Jailed in China (Pt. 4): A VIP room for detainees and facts divulged by fellow inmates.

These interviews with Hideji Suzuki, although they have considerable overlap, each provide their own angle on Suzuki experience. The NHK interview, and to a lesser extent the Chūō Kōron (中央公論) article fragment, I found most interesting because if focused on the psychological torture that supported the interrogation techniques.

All this gave me a lot to think about! You may want to skip over my foolish reflections (我遇见) and get to the meat of things in the translations of the two articles below. The two articles complement one another.

Torture and how to prevent became a hot topic in the United States after revelations of torture of captured prisoners in Iraq and the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Torture is defined in U.S law as

Definition of Torture Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A
This opinion interprets the federal criminal prohibition against torture codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A. It supersedes in its entirety the August 1, 2002 opinion of this Office entitled Standards of Conduct under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340–2340A.
That statute prohibits conduct “specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” This opinion concludes that “severe” pain under the statute is not limited to “excruciating or agonizing” pain or pain “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily functions, or even death.”
The statute also prohibits certain conduct specifically intended to cause “severe physical suffering” distinct from “severe physical pain.”
December 30, 2004


A Senate report ten years after that U.S. Department of Justice memorandum found that the CIA had tortured detainees:


China signed and rarified the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The United States has signed but not ratified the Convention.

Article 16 is one of the core articles of the Convention.

Article 16

1. Each State Party shall undertake to prevent in any territory under its jurisdiction other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture as defined in article I, when such acts are committed by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. In particular, the obligations contained in articles 10, 11, 12 and 13 shall apply with the substitution for references to torture of references to other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

2. The provisions of this Convention are without prejudice to the provisions of any other international instrument or national law which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or which relates to extradition or expulsion.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

In both the U.S. abuses documented in the 2014 U.S Senate Intelligence Committee report and in the case of abuses by the PRC Ministry of State Security, a “national security exception” seems to be invoked to ignore the rules. As a diplomat working in China for ten years, I always found that presenting my views on Chinese human rights abuses were better accepted if I put them in the context of some parallel struggles to overcome shortcoming in the USA with similar issues. A humble approach is more powerful and disarms the expectation Chinese have (mightily reinforced by the daily drumbeat of Party propaganda) that some arrogant American is about to talk down to them.

Despite the many abuses that continue to exist, both police and the Chinese population in general are better-educated and less accepting of torture than decades ago. As Professor Victor Shih said in a recent interview

And to be aware of the law …… is not, I don’t think he made it up, I think he just really wanted it. But there is a problem that the rule of law in China has a rather large loophole: there is the rule of law, but on all things related to stability and national security, there is absolutely no rule of law. So for example, if you have an enemy in the business world and your enemy wants to take away your property, there is a very easy way to get rid of you — just accuse you of being a menace to the maintenance of social stability or national security, and then you have no way to defend yourself, right? Because there is this big, big loophole, so it will never reach the rule of law. Because everyone, all the entrepreneurs know that the day someone accuses me of making a political or national security mistake, I will be finished immediately.

2023: Crisis in Chinese Local Government Finance — Prof. Victor Shih’s Chinese Language Podcast Interview

In China, the ‘national security exception’ to human rights can be seen as broader since ideological security is an integral part of the PRC/Communist Party national security concept. See for example 2020: PRC Scholar Yin Jiwu: Comparing US and PRC Concepts of National Security

Although China’s Communist Party appears strong as it does in Mao’s time, it does seem to often see itself as surrounded by enemies both domestic and foreign and reacting strongly against them from a defensive crouch.

A sense that the Party is losing ground and needs to take strong action is reflected in a recent interview with Party Secretary Xi Jinping’s friend Hu Muying, who heads the party princeling association and former propaganda boss Hu Qiaomu’s daughter that I summarize thus: Most Chinese students who return home after studying abroad have been brainwashed! Now as professors teaching in our schools, they infect their students with liberal and capitalist ideas. The ranks of China’s teachers must be rectified! The Communist Party is losing ground. The Party’s voice must be heard!

The 2021 PRC Ministry of Education detailed order to teach and how to teach the indispensability of the leadership of the Communist Party comes from this same strong sense of losing ground. I translated the order in this four-part series beginning with 2021: Teaching “Leadership of the Communist Party” .

This video clip from Hu Muying’s talk is available on Twitter.

Partial Text of the PRC Indictment Against Japan-China friendship worker and supposed spy Hideji Suzuki grabbed from this photograph

Hideji Suzuki holds a copy of his indictment written in Chinese in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Oct. 20, 2022. (Image partially modified) from Mainichi Shimbun: Jailed in China (Pt. 1): Japanese man imprisoned for ‘spying’ tells of 6-yr ordeal

Methodological Interlude: Translation of the first page of the indictment (some characters are unclear at the end). The picture quality was good enough for me to pick up almost all of the text with Google Lens running on my Android phone. More and more useful computer gadgets out there. Then I copied the Google Lens output into DeepL, edited it slightly and added in translations of some characters that Google Lens didn’t pick up and others that I could guess at.

People’s Republic of China

Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate, Second Branch


The defendant is HIDEJI Suzuki (foreign name SUZUKI HIDEJI), male, born on February 7, 1957, a citizen of Japan, passport number TRS383505. Before the incident, he was a guest investigator at the National Basic Policy Investigation Office of the Bureau of Investigation of the House of Representatives of Japan. He was placed under surveillance by the State Security Bureau in Beijing on July 16, 2016, on suspicion of espionage, and was placed under criminal detention on January 10, 2017, with the approval of the Court on February 16 of the same year. He was arrested on the same day.

The case of the defendant Suzuki Hidetoshi, suspected of being a spy, was investigated by the Beijing State Security Bureau and transferred to this court for examination and prosecution on April 14, 2017, after the court accepted the case, the defendant was informed of his right to appoint a defender, the defendant was interrogated in accordance with the law, we listened to the opinion of his defender, Yang Zhenguo, and reviewed all the case materials. Complex, extended the period of review and prosecution once (from May 15 to May 29, 2017)

After examination in accordance with the law found that:

The defendant Suzuki Hideji between 2010 and 2016, knowing that the Japanese Ministry of Justice public security investigative bureau (which the PRC Ministry of State Security has determined to be the [same organization (?)] ] as a Japanese intelligence organization and that the defendant through various means including telephone and letters during this period

NHK Interview with Hideji Suzuki

December 23, 2022

NHK: “I’m not a spy!” A Japanese Man Sentenced to 6 years in Prison Talks about “Residential Surveillance”


“You are a spy”

A Japanese man who was suddenly detained in China on suspicion of spying and imprisoned for six years.
Confined in “surveillance residence” where sunlight did not reach. I had lost nearly 30 kilos.

I have spent my life hoping for friendship between Japan and China.

What happened? A man who returned to Japan after finishing his “prison term” told me.

by Satoshi Sekiya, NHK International Department

I Want You to Know What Happened.

“The hardest part was during the first seven months of my detention. The curtains were closed in that room. I could only see the sun for 15 minutes with special permission. I cried when I saw it.”

Hideji Suzuki 鈴木英司 (65), who was detained in 2016 in China’s capital Beijing, said.
he was detained by the Chinese authorities for six years for “spying”.

Hideji Suzuki (65)

In October 2022, I applied for an interview with Suzuki, who had returned to Japan.
There have been other Japanese people detained in China, but most of them have kept their mouths shut.

However, to my surprise, I received a reply that Suzuki had agreed to an interview.

“I want you to know what happened.”

Suzuki said that on the day of our interview. He started talking about what happened in China.

Suddenly at the Airport, Men Appeared


On July 15, 2016, Suzuki was in Beijing for a symposium. It was a hot day with a strong summer sun beating down. After having lunch with a friend at a restaurant, Suzuki took a taxi to Beijing Capital International Airport to return to Japan.

Beijing Capital International Airport

When I got to the taxi stand, I saw a large gray van parked with 5 or 6 tall guys around it.

When I started walking to the entrance of the airport with my luggage, one of the men asked me, “Are you Suzuki?”

As soon as Suzuki answered “Yes,” the men rushed him all at once. In no time at all, he was pulled down into the white van and pushed into the seat in the last row.

“Who are you guys!”

One of the men briefly replied, “Beijing National Security Bureau,” to Suzuki, who desperately shouted. The men were employees of an agency that cracks down on spies in China.

Then they robbed me of my mobile phone, wristwatch, and trouser belt, and was even blindfolded me.

I didn’t know where I was going. After about an hour, they pulled me out of the car.

In order to make me lose my bearings, I was put into a room after walking around while rotating my body many times.

It was the beginning of a life of interrogation and surveillance that lasted for nearly seven months.

A Conversation About North Korea is espionage! ?

Why were you suddenly detained?

As the interrogation and subsequent trial proceeded, I began to understand what kind of “charges” were being made against me.

It is said that a conversation at a dinner with a Chinese government official with whom he had a relationship has become a problem. The men knew what kind of conversation Suzuki had had.

“You talked about North Korea. It’s a sensitive issue, and it’s illegal,” he stated bluntly.

Suzuki has been involved in China for many years, and had traveled there over 200 times. In addition to being the representative of an exchange group that promotes friendship between Japan and China, he also taught at a Chinese university and had many Chinese friends.

I also interacted with Chinese government officials and the staff of the Japanese embassy in Beijing, and even went out to eat with them.

From that, the Chinese came to be firmly convinced that Suzuki was involved in so-called espionage activities, “collecting information on China’s diplomatic personnel affairs, territorial issues, North Korean issues, etc., in order to pass it on to Japanese intelligence agencies.”

However, Suzuki cannot accept that conclusion and still does not hide his anger about it.

“At that time, the South Korean government had announced the suspicion that Jang Sung-taek, the son-in-law of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, had been executed, so I asked a Chinese government official, ‘What do you think about the execution? But he replied, ‘I don’t know.’ How could that possibly constitute illegal intelligence collection. I don’t understand it and I am angry about it.

Seven months of “Residential Surveillance”指定居所监视居住 .Allowed to See the Sun Only 15 Minutes Daily

Suzuki was detained and taken to a room that looked like it belonged to an old business hotel. There was a small desk, a bed, and a toilet and shower without a door for surveillance.

“Residential surveillance,” as the Chinese authorities put it, has begun.

Surveillance camera lenses stared at him from four corners of the room. The windows were covered with dark, thick curtains that make it difficult to tell whether it is day or night outside.

And on the sofa opposite the bed, there were always two men sitting on watch. The men took turns watching him 24 hours a day, even when he needed to go to the bathroom.

He had to leave the light on even when he went to sleep. He couldn’t calm down because the men were always watching.

As for exercise, during the days he could only walk in the room. As he thought about him walking back and forth in front of those men he got very sad.

What will become of me? I was overwhelmed with anxiety and fear.

Suzuki: “Since I didn’t know how long my life under this surveillance would continue and didn’t have any information at all, I got to have suspicious and doubtful about everything. What was going on back home in Japan? How was my family getting along? I was always thinking about those things. It was very difficult.”

When he wasn’t being interrogated, except for his meals, shower and using the toilet, he spent all of thi time sitting down. There were no books, no TV, and no pen and paper. I spent the seven months of interrogation in this room with no one to talk with

One day, Suzuki begged to see sunlight.

He was only allowed fifteen minutes.

Whenever he left the room, a chair was placed some distance from the window the hallway. I could see the sun when I sat down. At that sight of the natural world, tears flowed down my face.

I wanted to get closer. When I tried to gto to the window, I was reprimanded with “no”.

Closed-door Trial Results in a Six year Prison Sentence

In February 2017, about seven months after his sudden detention. Suzuki was formally arrested and later indicted.

The subsequent trial was held behind closed doors because it was related to “intelligence” that the Chinese side said was illegally obtained. All applications to attend the trial were denied.

In May 2019, he was sentenced to six years in prison in the first trial.

The appeal that Suzuki made the following year, in November 2020, was denied. It had been over four years since he was detained.

The judgment of the court was as follows.

“Hideji Suzuki made use of his status as an employee of the Japan-China Friendship, and had frequent contact with people (persons omitted) in and outside of China. After asking for information in areas such as trends, policies and measures related to the Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands) and the Air Defense Identification Zone, and China-North Korea relations, I provided the information I obtained to (persons omitted) and others. The content was certified by the State Security Administration of the People’s Republic of China to be intelligence information. that Hideji Suzuki carried out a criminal act of espionage and endangered China’s national security has been proven.”

Suzuki was sentenced to six years in prison and imprisoned in a Beijing prison. He spent nearly two years in custody there, the four years served while in custody having been deducted from his sentence.

China enacted an anti-espionage law [National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China] enacted the following year . Since 2015, there have been a series of cases in which Japanese people have been detained by the authorities for being involved in espionage. At least sixteen have been detained thus far.

Of these, a man in his 70s from Hokkaido who died in a Chinese prison. Six others have not yet returned to Japan.

I have a Grudge Against China, But…

In mid-October 2022, Suzuki returned to his parents’ home in Japan after completing his sentence. He had lost nearly 30 kilos from his weight of 96 kilos before his arrest.

My father, who is nearly 90 years old, and relatives were happy to see me return.

It was homemade home cooking that was prepared at my parents’ house for the first time in 6 years. His favorite food, sashimi, and cold sake, which he had wanted to eat for a long time, were so delicious that he was moved to tears.

Suzuki is extremely concerned about the current human rights situation in China.

Hideji Suzuki

“Since Xi Jinping became the leader, the restrictions on human rights, in particular, have become much more severe. The Chinese government has repeatedly asserted that ‘China has its own human rights, which are different from the West,’ but it is being monitored. From my own experience of not letting people see anything and not letting anyone see them, I have to say that China clearly lags behind in human rights and that that is a big problem.”

Now I am free. However, I will never see my Chinese friends again. If I meet them or contact them, my friends could become targets of investigations.

For nearly 40 years since the 1980s, Suzuki has spent his entire life working on grassroots activities to foster friendship between Japan and China. He had been detained in China, and as a “criminal” he will never be able to enter the country in the future.

At the end of the interview, Hideji Suzuki told us, trembling, about his complicated feelings.

“I have a grudge against China. However, the relationship between Japan and China is an important bilateral relationship. We have strong economic trade ties, and we are geographically neighboring countries. Also, if Japan-China relations improve, I think there will be fewer cases like mine, and more exchanges will emerge. For Japan-China relations to improve, we need to have a correct understanding of each other. That is why I will dedicate myself to this work in the future.”

Hideji Suzuki: Six Years Spent in a Chinese Prison by a Friend of Japan and China

Distributed on Friday, 2022/12/23 at 6:30 a.m.20


Hideji Suzuki

 Hideji Suzuki, 65, former president of the Japan-China Youth Exchange Association, who was detained by authorities in 2016 for espionage in China and sentenced to six years in prison, was released from prison in October and returned to Japan after serving his sentence. Was the ruthless treatment of a “friend” who had done so much for Japan-China friendship related to the power struggle within the Chinese Communist Party, which is headed by President Xi Jinping? Mr. Suzuki spoke in detail about the interrogation methods used by the Chinese authorities and the reality of Chinese prisons, which until now had rarely been revealed.

(Excerpt from the January 2023 issue of Chūō Kōron (中央公論))

 After my release from prison on October 11, 2010. At Beijing Municipal Prison No. 2 my suit and other personal belongings I had when I was forcibly detained six year earlier and I was driven to Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport. That unpleasant memories came back vividly to my mind. I had wanted to fly back home with a Japanese airline, but there were no flights that day or the next. I would have had to wait for two more days at some detention facility, so I had to settle for an Air China flight. Since it was a Chinese plane, I was worried that I might be taken back suddenly, even after boarding, until the plane actually landed at Narita Airport.

Incidentally, the air ticket, which cost about 7,000 yuan (about 140,000 yen) [USD 1000], I bought with my own money. When I arrived at my parents’ house, my family served me sashimi for dinner. During my six years in detention, I always thought of Japan and said, “When I return home, I will eat sushi first. Then sashimi, ramen, curry, and tonkatsu, in that order. My weight, which was 98 kilograms at the time of my detention, had dropped to 68 kilograms. Thanks to that, all the bad medical indicator numbers I had before improved. (Laughter)

When I changed the TV channel, I heard my favorite singer, Sayuri Ishikawa. While I was being held in China, I sang “Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyu-kei” and “Amagi Koshi” in my head to inspire my broken heart. I was so happy to be able to come home. I couldn’t help but cry.

Seven Months of Interrogation Before Formal Arrest

 My life in detention was in three stages. First, on July 15, 2016, I was taken to the airport in Beijing and held for seven months for “residential surveillance” and interrogated by the Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau; on February 16, 2005, I was formally arrested and spent the next three years and nine months in a detention center. On November 9, 2008, he was convicted of espionage and spent one year and 11 months in jail until his sentence expired on October 11, 2009, after deducting the number of days he had spent in detention pending trial.

The most painful part of my detention was the residential surveillance I underwent at the beginning.

It began one day, after having had dinner with an acquaintance in Beijing, I took a cab to Beijing Capital International Airport to return home. I got off at Terminal 3, where the international flights are located, and as I started walking, I was surrounded by five men. The asked me if I was Hideji Suzuki. When I answered “Yes,” they abruptly pushed me into a white car. The men simply said they were “employees of the Beijing Municipality State Security Bureau,” and refused to produce any identification. When I protested, they showed me a document in the name of the Director of the Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau stating that they were authorized to detain me on suspicion of espionage.

In the car, I was blindfolded. My cell phone, watch and other things were taken away. After about an hour of driving, I was removed from the car, still blindfolded. I later learned that it was a facility of the Municipal State Security Bureau in Fengtai District in the southern part of Beijing. Once off the elevator, after being turned around several times, I was put into a room and made to sit on what looked like a bed. Only then was my blindfold finally removed.

It looked just like a room in a typical Chinese “guesthouse”. It had a sofa at the end of the bed I was sitting on, and thick curtains that were still closed. That was room 502. I was interrogated in room 504, diagonally across the hallway. Three men and a female interpreter sat across from me. The man in charge, a well-dressed man of about 40 years old, told me only to address him as “Teacher” but did not give his name.

When I returned to Room 502, the two men sat on the sofa and continued to monitor me 24 hours a day in shifts. They would sit on my bed and watch me eat and sleep in silence. What was hard was that I could not see any light other than electric lights in the room since the curtains closed. There was no conversation at all.

They took away my watch, my writing utensils, and I could not watch TV or read a book. During the interrogations, which continued under such conditions, I was given “homework” at the end of each interrogation: “Next time, I will ask you about this. Since there was nothing else to do, all I could think about was “How should I answer. And since I don’t talk to anyone, when I am asked to say a few words in subsequent interrogation, I end up saying unnecessary things.

I am a person who remembers people’s background and education very well. Of course, I avoid answering “I don’t remember” if it might be detrimental to me or to the person I am talking about. However, when I am asked about someone I had a relationship with in China, I tend to tell them things like, “What university did he graduate from? Then, they will say, “You have such a good memory. How can you not remember other things in your past?

I thought this was a very clever method. I guess this is their know-how about putting people in an extreme situation so that they will say whatever you want them to say.

About a month after the residential surveillance began, I really wanted to see the sun, so I asked the “teacher” to help me. The next day, during the interrogation, a chair was placed about a meter away from the window in the hallway and I was urged to sit down. I could see the sun through the window. I complained that I wanted to get a little closer to the window, but was not allowed to do so; after about 15 minutes had passed, I was told that it was over. This was the only time I saw the sun under residential supervision.

(In China, under the Criminal Procedure Law, there is a measure called “residential surveillance,” in which a person is detained outside of a penal institution before formal arrest, for example. The maximum period of detention is six months, but it may be extended in some cases. People subject to this practice are often know to have been tortured and coerced into making confessions. During the period of residential surveillance, I was not allowed to request a defense attorney. I kept asking to contact the Japanese Embassy. I was finally allowed to do so five days after I was detained. The “consular interview” with the embassy staff took place in a large reception room-like area in the facility, with men from the interrogation room, and was also filmed with a video camera. When I asked if the meeting would take place here, the embassy official replied, “This is the way the Chinese do it.” When the topic of conversation turned to the charges against me, a man on the Chinese side who understood Japanese reported back to his “teacher”. He was interrupted, “Don’t talk about those things,” and warned, “If you talk about the topic two more times, we will cancel today’s visit.”

Chit-chat Becomes “Classified Information”

 So what was the “crime of spying” I was charged with? I have the text of the court decision at hand.

It states that I was charged with collecting and reporting state information on a long-term basis from 2010 to 2016 years while working as an agent of a Japanese government agency that was recognized as a “spy agency” by the Chinese government.

Specifically, it states that when I met with a former minister-counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Japan at a restaurant in Beijing on December 4, 2001, I asked him for information on Sino-North Korean relations, which I then provided to a Japanese government agency. Indeed, I was treated by Tang, who was a friend of mine, to a meal at a restaurant that served porridge. Tang personally called and reserved a table for us. Our conversation at that time was called into question.

Just prior to our dinner, news was circulating that Kim Jong-il’s uncle in North Korea was believed to have been executed. When I casually asked, “What about it?” Tang replied, “I don’t know.” This was identified as the lowest level of “information” among China’s state secrets, which are classified into four levels in order of importance: “top secret,” “confidential,” “secret,” and “information”. During the interrogation, it was repeatedly pointed out that “this is a sensitive topic concerning North Korea, and therefore illegal. However, Tang stated that he did not know anything about it. This charge is an obvious fabrication.

It is true that I had contacts with Japanese government agencies. But it was only to exchange information. If I had had an “assignment,” I should have received compensation and expenses, but I never received anything. I continued to deny the allegations of “espionage,” and wrote seven letters in Chinese to the presiding judge at the first trial, and six more at the second trial.

One day during an interrogation, one of the interrogators suddenly said, “Actually, I’ve met you before.” A man with a dark complexion about 30 years old with gleaming eyes … I said, “Ah!” It was the same person who carried my luggage as the head of a delegation in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, when I visited there in 2010 for planting trees as part of a Japan-China friendship project. I also recalled that he had introduced himself as “a volunteer from Beijing”.

The interrogator had a detailed knowledge of my activities over a long period of time. He told me that I had boarded a plane on what day and time, and that I had been to Shandong Province three or four times. I never would have thought that they were following me so closely.

(According to the written decision dated May 21, 2019, the Ministry of State Security identified this Japanese government agency as a spy organization. The State Secrecy Bureau found that the content of Sino-North Korean relations was a matter that had not been made public, and that if illegally provided overseas, it would amount to “information” under the Penal Code, according to the ruling.)

I continued to resist interrogation, but was eventually formally arrested. The place of confinement was changed from the “guest house” to a detention center on the same premises that was believed to be for political prisoners and terrorism suspects. About three months later, on May 25, 2005, I was indicted. I was presented with a statement admitting the charges, and under duress that I could not refuse, I signed the statement out of necessity.

Consular visits were no longer held in the facility but at the court. One day, when I boarded the convoy headed to the courthouse, one of the men was already in the car. In the middle of the COVID disaster, the man took off his mask, I took off mine, and as soon as we looked at each other, he said, “Mr. Tang! Mr. Suzuki!” . We shouted at almost the same time.

Yes, it was Tang Benyuan. 湯本淵

We each took each other’s handcuffed hands and asked, “When did you come here?” What is your prisoner number? It was like a scene from a movie. It was like a scene from a movie.

At the courthouse, we were seated in separate waiting areas that looked like animal cages, and Tang Benyuan had a cookie he had brought with him delivered to me via a police officer. He told me about the Japanese government agency in question, “There is a considerable amount of spying going on within it. It is a serious matter. Please make sure you disclose it when you get back to Japan,” he pleaded in a hushed voice.

In fact, I had an idea. During the interrogation, we were shown a number of copies of the photo IDs of Japanese government officials. I was asked on-by-one if I knew this person. How were the Chinese authorities able to obtain that much personal data? We can only assume that information from Japanese government agencies is being leaked through some channel.

I had no idea that Tang was being prosecuted. As far as I can tell from the court order, he did not make any statements that had sold me out. Moreover, his prosecution was a separate case from my own. However, he was a state official, and if he was a spy, he might be sentenced to death. He was the person I was closest to in China. I am still saddened by this.

(Searching Chinese news sites, I cannot find any information that Tang Benyuan has been prosecuted. In China, hearings of political prisoners who have a stake in national security are conducted in strictest secrecy and are often not made public.)

Along with Tang, the former Consul General of the Consulate General in Nagoya was also named in the judgment. He stated that he felt that I was a collaborator (of Japanese government agencies) because I always asked a lot of questions. I feel that this statement is also contradictory. If he was so wary of me, why would he have stayed up late drinking with me every time he came to Tokyo on business? I am also an old friend of his wife.

[Continued in the January 2023 issue of Chūō Kōron (中央公論)]

[Hideji Suzuki was born in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1957. He first visited China in 1983 as a guest of the National Federation of Chinese Youth Associations, and has visited China more than 200 times. He has taught at Beijing Foreign Studies University and has many students in the diplomatic community. He has served as a director of the Japan-China Society, one of the seven Japan-China friendship organizations.]

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
This entry was posted in Intelligence, Japan, Law 法律, National Security 安全 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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