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China Expels Japanese Journalist

October 8, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ China claimed Thursday that a Japanese journalist it expelled stole and paid for state secrets.

Yukihisa Nakatsu, 39, a correspondent for the Yomiuri, Japan’s largest-circulation daily, ``made a confession on these illegal activities″ before his expulsion, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said.

Nakatsu returned home Tuesday. The managing editor of his paper, Shoichi Oikawa, has defended him, saying he was confident Nakatsu engaged in ethical and proper reporting.

In a letter to Chinese President Jiang Zemin, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was ``deeply disturbed″ about China’s treatment of Nakatsu.

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based press freedom group, noted that the expulsion followed China’s signature Monday on a key U.N. human rights treaty that guarantees freedom of expression.

Chinese authorities questioned Nakatsu three times after he returned from Tibet last month, searched his home and demanded to know where he obtained certain documents they found, according to his newspaper.

Nakatsu, who refused to tell Chinese authorities the source of the documents, was ordered Sunday to leave China within three days.

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