Russia expels Japanese man accused of gathering secret data

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MOSCOW (AP) — A Japanese man was expelled from Russia after being accused of looking for military secrets, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies that the man was detained on Saturday in Russia's Pacific port of Vladivostok when he “attempted to obtain classified materials about the Russian military potential in the far east.”

The ministry said the man, who had entered Russia on a journalist visa, was given 72 hours to leave the country and departed on Sunday. It didn't name the man or elaborate on what materials he was accused of collecting.

The Foreign Ministry said it handed a formal protest to a Japanese diplomat in Moscow.

Russia and Japan have conducted talks to solve a territorial dispute over the four southernmost Kuril islands which the Soviet Union took control of during the final days of World War II. Japan asserts territorial rights to the islands, which it calls the Northern Territories, and the dispute has kept both countries from signing a peace treaty.

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