Another victim of the honey trap

By

It's the oldest trick in the spy book, and it persists and flourishes because it works so often. Lure a diplomat (or military officer, or business competitor) into a compromising sexual relationship, and then threaten exposure unless valueable secrets are delivered. Apparently, the old honey trap worked on a Japanese consular official in Shanghai, who recently killed himself, leaving behind 5 notes explaining (among other things) that he would not betray his country. It is unclear how much, if any, confidential information was already compromised.

The diplomat, who was in charge of official communications between Tokyo and Japan's consulate general in Shanghai, hanged himself from the balcony of his office in the Chinese city, according to Japanese media reports.

The man, who was married and in his 40s, was being blackmailed into leaking classified information to a Chinese intelligence agent, according to Japanese officials.

He is said to have been compromised during an affair with a hostess in a local bar that allows customers to choose a woman and spend the evening with her.

Japanese reports said the hostess was thought to have introduced the diplomat to the agent, who began to work his new contact for "soft" information.

Relations between Japan and China are quite rocky already, and Japan is officially outraged. After getting vilified and rioted against by the Chinese over domestic textbooks minimizing Japan's WW II aggression, and after protests over PM Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the Japanese have some outrage of their own, accusing China of violating international law. The Chinese, of course, accuse the Japanese of slander.

Shanghai is a key diplomatic outpost for Japan, as the financial and business capital of China. Plenty of valuable economic information was there to be had by the Chinese.

Neither side can really afford to let relations get so bad that business is affected. But anger is rising on both sides. The real question is whether the larger stakes will suffice to temper those domestic forces in each country which see an advantage in exacerbating the relationship.

Thomas Lifson  12 2905

It's the oldest trick in the spy book, and it persists and flourishes because it works so often. Lure a diplomat (or military officer, or business competitor) into a compromising sexual relationship, and then threaten exposure unless valueable secrets are delivered. Apparently, the old honey trap worked on a Japanese consular official in Shanghai, who recently killed himself, leaving behind 5 notes explaining (among other things) that he would not betray his country. It is unclear how much, if any, confidential information was already compromised.

The diplomat, who was in charge of official communications between Tokyo and Japan's consulate general in Shanghai, hanged himself from the balcony of his office in the Chinese city, according to Japanese media reports.

The man, who was married and in his 40s, was being blackmailed into leaking classified information to a Chinese intelligence agent, according to Japanese officials.

He is said to have been compromised during an affair with a hostess in a local bar that allows customers to choose a woman and spend the evening with her.

Japanese reports said the hostess was thought to have introduced the diplomat to the agent, who began to work his new contact for "soft" information.

Relations between Japan and China are quite rocky already, and Japan is officially outraged. After getting vilified and rioted against by the Chinese over domestic textbooks minimizing Japan's WW II aggression, and after protests over PM Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine, the Japanese have some outrage of their own, accusing China of violating international law. The Chinese, of course, accuse the Japanese of slander.

Shanghai is a key diplomatic outpost for Japan, as the financial and business capital of China. Plenty of valuable economic information was there to be had by the Chinese.

Neither side can really afford to let relations get so bad that business is affected. But anger is rising on both sides. The real question is whether the larger stakes will suffice to temper those domestic forces in each country which see an advantage in exacerbating the relationship.

Thomas Lifson  12 2905