The AFP news agency reported on Aug. 28 that when the founder and others of the local newspaper Apple Daily were arrested on Aug. 10 on the charge of violation of the Hong Kong national security law, three Hong Kong police investigators visited Nikkei’s Hong Kong Bureau with a warrant. In response to a question from the Asahi Shimbun, the police replied on Aug. 29, saying, they “executed a court-issued warrant requesting the submission of documents.”
Citing information from sources, the AFP reported that the police executed the warrant because last August the Nikkei’s bureau had published an advocacy ad calling for the international community to support anti-government demonstrations. The advertiser was Hong Kong’s pro-democracy political group Demosisto (which disbanded at the end of June this year).
In response to a media inquiry, the police explained that they executed a court order to investigate “cases related to illegally obtained funds” based on the ordinance for cracking down on criminal proceeds for organized crimes. They did not search the bureau.
The Nikkei Head Office’s public relations office said, “We cannot comment on the matter.”
Advocacy ads by pro-democracy groups such as Demosisto and other groups appeared last year in several foreign media outlets, including the Asahi Shimbun.