TOKYO - A diplomat at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing was detained temporarily by authorities Monday in the Chinese capital, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The Japanese government lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters, saying, "We cannot overlook (the incident) and will never accept it."
But the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo refused to accept the protest, releasing a statement Wednesday that the diplomat had been investigated and questioned in accordance with the law after acting inappropriately, without elaborating.
It added that Japan should respect China's laws and strictly manage the behavior of its diplomats.
The statement was released after Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori summoned Yang Yu, charge d'affaires ad interim of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, to the ministry on Tuesday night and demanded that China issue an apology and prevent a recurrence, saying the incident clearly violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the ministry said.
Yang told Mori that he would report to his government, according to ministry officials.
Japanese Ambassador to China Hideo Tarumi also made a similar request to China's Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao.
According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, the diplomat was detained Monday afternoon while on legitimate official business. The diplomat was released a few hours later after exchanges with Chinese authorities and was not physically harmed.