Anton Kalnin, 52 years old, the second highest official at the Trade Representation of the Russian Federation in Japan, allegedly obtained confidential information from a former Softbank employee. The Russian diplomat apparently belongs to “Line X” of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service known as SVR. Line X is in charge of gathering technological information, Nikkei learned from sources related to the investigation on Feb. 15.
It was also learned that the Russian diplomat had been meeting with the Softbank employee not only at restaurants but also in the precincts of a shrine, paying tens of thousands of yen to hundreds of thousands of yen for each piece of information, sources said. The Russian diplomat apparently targeted an individual with access to advanced technology and obtained such information without even disclosing his name, which is a typical way for a spy to conduct espionage, according to investigative sources. The Public Security Bureau of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department is increasing vigilance.
The police asked the Russian Embassy to Kalnin to appear for questioning, but he left Japan for Russia on Feb. 10.