A Chinese court has sentenced a Japanese man to five years in prison on charges of espionage, sources familiar with Japan-China relations said.

Dandong Intermediate People’s Court in Liaoning Province handed down the sentence at the trial of the 57-year-old man from Kanagawa Prefecture, the sources said Friday.

The man was detained by Chinese authorities in May 2015 in Dandong, which shares a border with North Korea.

According to the sources, the man was a North Korean defector and said to have visited the border area frequently. Details of his espionage activities remain unknown.

Since 2015, numerous Japanese have been detained in China on spying and other charges. Eight people have been indicted so far.

The Kanagawa man is the second among the eight to be sentenced, following a man from Aichi Prefecture, who was handed a 12-year prison term Tuesday.



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