New Japan business head in China seeks fair treatment of detainee

The new chief of a group representing Japanese businesses in China said Tuesday he expects Beijing will "fairly treat" a Japanese citizen detained in China last month on suspicion of espionage in accordance with the domestic law.

Panasonic Holdings Corp. Executive Vice President Tetsuro Homma, who newly took the helm of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China, told a press conference in Beijing that the detention of the national has made companies in Japan more aware of the risks of doing business in China.

"We wait for positive developments in the case as soon as possible," Homma said. The detained businessman, who worked for pharmaceutical firm Astellas Pharma Inc., had served as a senior executive of the chamber and helped deepen Japan-China economic cooperation for more than 20 years, he added.

As the chief of the group representing more than 500 Japanese companies in China, Homma said the chamber hopes to help rejuvenate bilateral business exchanges that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Bilateral relations have been characterized as being in a state of 'cold politics, hot economics.' We hope businesses will continue to help advance and develop the two countries' ties," Homma said.

© Kyodo News