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Newsline: Russian diplomats depart at Japanese government’s request

Diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Tokyo were among eight Russian nationals who flew out of Haneda Airport on Wednesday, following Japan’s request that they leave the country, the Foreign Ministry said. (https://www.stripes.com/theaters/asia_pacific/2022-04-21/russian-diplomats-depart-at-japanese-government-request-5757813.html) According to the ministry, the eight comprised diplomats at the embassy and staff members at the office of the Russian trade representative in Japan. Among them were intelligence officers belonging to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff (GRU), and the Russian foreign intelligence service known as the SVR. The Foreign Ministry requested that these eight people leave the country. They left the country by the deadline that the Japanese government had requested. It is unusual for Japan to demand that multiple staff members leave the country at once, as asking a diplomat to depart a country constitutes a strong protest to the relevant government. According to the Foreign Ministry, the last such request was made in May 2012 to the then Syrian ambassador to Japan.

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