SINGAPORE: Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has confirmed that it has suspended an envoy who was questioned by Japanese police following suspicions of secretly filming a male teenager at a public bath while he was in Tokyo.

The diplomat in question, identified as a 55-year-old former counselor at the embassy, allegedly used his smartphone to secretly film a 13-year-old boy in the changing room of a public bath on February 27, according to Japanese media Yomiuri Shimbun. The incident took place in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

Staff members of the public bath immediately contacted the police, who subsequently arrived at the scene. A search of the diplomat’s phone reportedly uncovered “multiple naked photos of male customers,” as reported by Asahi Shimbun.

The diplomat initially refused to cooperate with the authorities and declined to accompany them to the police station. However, he admitted to taking similar photos in other public baths.

According to Asahi Shimbun, upon being asked to delete the photos from his phone, the diplomat complied and deleted approximately 700 images on the spot. He informed the police that these photos were taken over a six-month period leading up to the incident.

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MFA said late on Thursday (2 May) that the diplomat has been suspended to assist in the iinvestigation. The Ministry added that Singapore is prepared to waive diplomatic immunity to facilitate investigation, if the facts of the case are true.

MFA revealed that it only learned of the incident when it was contacted by the Japanese media on Wednesday (1 May) and was not aware previously as the envoy involved had returned to Japan after completing his term in mid-April.

MFA has also contacted the Japanese authorities for more information and promised to investigate the incident thoroughly.

The Tokyo police are currently investigating potential violations of child pornography laws. Formal charges are also being considered.