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Newsline: Tokyo police arrest Japanese diplomat for setting fire to embassy in Congo

Japanese diplomat who formerly worked for the Japanese embassy in Congo was arrested by Tokyo police on suspicion of setting fire at the embassy office in June of this year. 30-year-old Shinya Yamada, who worked as the third secretary in the office in Kinshasa is alleged to have caused the fire which partially burned the two floors where the embassy was located. This was a rare case where Japanese authorities personally investigated an incident that occurred in a diplomatic mission in another country. Members of the Tokyo police were sent to Congo at the behest of the Foreign Ministry to look into the situation. Upon their investigation, the police discovered that Yamada embezzled some of the funds at the embassy and then set fire to the fourth floor offices to hide his misdeed. He sprinkled gasoline all over the floor, where the offices of the ambassador and counselor are also located. Records show that he was the last person to leave the embassy on the day of the fire on June 20. The police also found a tank at Yamada’s Congo residence that may have contained the gasoline used in the fire. Fortunately, no one was injured during the fire, although it caused damage to the offices, which were located on two floors of a four-story building in the country’s capital. There were 20 employees at that time, with half of them locally hired staff. The office was relocated temporarily to the ambassador’s residence and then to a condominium unit. Yamada later on went back to Japan where he worked at the Foreign Ministry.


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