SINGAPORE: A Singapore diplomat based at the embassy in Tokyo has been questioned by Japanese police following suspicions of secretly filming a male teenager at a public bath, according to reports from Japanese media today (2 May).

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 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 Japanese news outlet 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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The Tokyo police are currently investigating potential violations of child pornography laws and are planning to request assistance from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in having the diplomat turn himself in, as reported by Asahi Shimbun.

Formal charges are also being considered. However, it is important to note that, under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, diplomats enjoy immunity from arrest.

When approached for comment, the Singapore embassy expressed unawareness of the incident at the public bath, according to Asahi Shimbun. The embassy further informed the newspaper that the diplomat in question had already completed his assignment and returned to Singapore as of April 12.

The Singaporean government has yet to release an official statement regarding the incident, and it remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved in light of diplomatic immunity.