Former SoftBank employee accused of spying

Japanese police have arrested Yutaka Araki for passing on trade secrets to Russian officials, from a computer server of a telecom company.


Police in Japan have arrested a former employee of SoftBank for spying for Russia. The employee in question has been accused of stealing proprietary information from the company and passing it on to Russian officials.

Forty-eight year old Yutaka Araki, 48, has allegedly passed on trade-related secrets from a computer server of a telecommunication company in Japan, early last year. By doing so he has violated Japan’s unfair competition prevention law. He admitted to the police that he had been paid to pass on information held in data storage devices to Russian officials.

Although the name of the telecom company has not been revealed, local media reports say it is a unit of the SoftBank Group itself.

It is reported that Russian trade officials from Moscow’s mission in Tokyo were part of this spying activity. However, the Russian Embassy has denied these allegations and called the reports ‘regrettable’.

SoftBank, on the other hand, has clearly stated that while it will be wholeheartedly cooperating with investigators, it will ensure that no confidential data or personal information about customers will be divulged to or shared with any one.

In a similar case last year, two former Twitter employees were accused of spying for Saudi Arabia, by accessing Twitter’s information on rebels using the platform. It was the first time that federal prosecutors publicly accused the Kingdom of planting agents in the United States.

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