The Position of the Government of Japan regarding the Incident at the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang, People's Republic of China

May 13, 2002

    At about 2 p.m. on 8 May (Local Time), five people (two men, two women and a girl) who are thought to be North Korean nationals attempted to enter the premises of the Consulate General of Japan in Shenyang. They ended up in a struggle with armed Chinese police officers who were on duty around the front gate area. Out of these five, the two men rushed into the premises of the Consulate General. The two women and the girl also entered the Consulate General premises but were soon dragged out of it by the Chinese armed police. Subsequently the armed Chinese police entered the premises without consent of the Consulate General in an attempt to apprehend the two men and consequently took all the five to the Chinese public security department.
    The Government of Japan believes that the action of the Chinese side is extremely questionable in view of relevant international law and humanitarian concerns and regards it greatly regrettable. In particular the fact that the armed Chinese police entered the premises of the Consulate General constituted a grave violation of the Inviolability of Consular Premises as stipulated in Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and is not acceptable in light of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
    Based on this view, the Government of Japan has been making high-level demands on a number of occasions to the Chinese side both in Beijing and Tokyo since immediately after the incident. To be specific, we have lodged a strong protest against the Chinese side on the breach of the Inviolability of the Consular Premises and requested the immediate handover of the five people concerned who had been taken away from the premises of the Consulate General.
    On the other hand, the Chinese side, while stating that identification of the concerned individuals is in progress, claims that the measures taken by the Chinese side on this matter were in line with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and that they were taken to ensure the safety of the Consulate General. The Government of Japan considers this explanation utterly unacceptable.
    The Government of Japan shall continue to deal with this matter in a resolute attitude in light of international law and humanitarian concern, and exert its utmost efforts for the early resolution of this issue.
    The following is an outline of the Result of Inquiry conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

Basic Facts

1. The two women and the girl were forcibly captured within the premises of the Consulate General

- The Japanese side did NOT give its consent for the armed Chinese policemen to enter the premises of the Japanese Consulate General as was evident from the video. (The Vice-Consul came to the gate after the two women and the girl had been hauled off the premises.)

2. The two men were forcibly captured in the visa-application waiting room of the Consulate General (on the premises of the Consulate General)

- The Japanese side did NOT give its consent for the armed Chinese policemen to enter the premises of the Japanese Consulate General, nor for them to forcibly apprehend the two men from the Consulate General's visa-application waiting room and to take them into the guard box right outside the premises of the Consulate General.

3. The five people were forcibly apprehended

- The Japanese side did NOT give consent to the forcible apprehension of either the two women and the girl or of the two men from the Consulate General's visa-application waiting room. Also, the Japanese side did not give consent to the transfer of the five persons from the guard box right outside the premises to the Chinese public security department. The Japanese side did NOT offer thanks to the Chinese armed policemen for their handling of the case.

- In the guard box right outside the premises of the Consulate General, the Vice-Consul in charge of security first attempted to block the exit but eventually did not physically oppose the armed Chinese policemen. This was to avoid unforeseen circumstances and in no way implies consent.

4. Protest by the Japanese Consulate General immediately after the incident

- The Vice-Consul in charge of security went to the local authorities immediately after the incident to protest against the entry without consent by the armed policemen into the premises, a breach of international law, and demanded the handover of the five people.

5. Protest by the Japanese Embassy against the Chinese Foreign Ministry

- On the same afternoon, the Japanese Embassy lodged a protest against the Chinese Foreign Ministry to protest against the breach of international law and demanded the handover of the five people.


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