Japan to Expel Russian Consul in Sapporo in Retaliation


Tokyo, Oct. 4 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government has declared a Russian consul in Sapporo in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido as a "persona non grata" and ordered the diplomat to leave Japan by Monday, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Tuesday.

The move is a countermeasure to Russia's detention and deportation of a Japanese consul in Vladivostok late last month.

Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori summoned Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and informed him of the decision.

Speaking to reporters at the ministry, Hayashi stressed that the detention of the Japanese consul is a "clear and serious violation of international law" and "extremely regrettable and unacceptable."

"We notified (the Russian side of) the decision as a commensurate measure," Hayashi said. "We urge them to properly follow the decision."

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