Four Japanese nationals have been held by Japan on suspicion of “filming military targets”. According to the Associated Press, the four have not been identified, but are suspected of being employees of the Fujita Corporation.

The authorities accuse the Japanese of entering a military zone without authorization in Hebei province, the capital of which is Shijiazhuang.

The brief report late Thursday night did not say whether the four Japanese are in detention.

The four men are believed to be employees of Fujita Corp., a Tokyo-based construction and urban redevelopment company.

“We are pretty certain they are our employees,” said Fujita spokesman Yoshiaki Onodera. “But we have not spoken with them, so we don’t know how they came to be questioned.”

Onodera said he could not confirm Japanese media reports saying that the men were preparing a bid on a project to dispose of abandoned chemical weapons from World War II. (Link)

And according to this article, dated September 3rd, chemical weapons disposal facilities were planned for Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province. Precisely where the men were arrested. It’s possible the men were scouting a location for the facility. Or maybe they were spying.

The timing of the arrests is quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch