Arrested Ex-Softbank Worker Repeatedly Entertained by Russian Diplomat

Society

Tokyo, Jan. 26 (Jiji Press)--A former Softbank Corp. <9434> employee arrested on suspicion of illegally obtaining trade secrets of the major Japanese mobile phone carrier was repeatedly entertained by a male diplomat stationed at the office of Russia's trade representative in Japan, it was learned Sunday.

The former employee, Yutaka Araki, 48, has said in questioning by the Public Security Bureau of Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department that he had thought the man in question may be a spy from Russia, investigative sources said.

The bureau suspects that the Russian diplomat seduced Araki to leak information after developing close relations with him.

The bureau arrested Araki on Saturday on suspicion of obtaining two sets of trade secrets of Softbank, including work manuals related to its mobile phone base stations, in February last year by accessing a server of the firm in violation of the unfair competition prevention law in an attempt to gain illegal profits.

According to the sources, the Russian diplomat came to Japan in 2017 and often dined with Araki. The Russian official told Araki that he has diplomatic privilege guaranteed by the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, such as immunity from arrest, but stopped short of revealing his status as a diplomat or his title at the office of the Russian trade representative, the sources said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press