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Japan temple wins bids on N. Korea 'embassy'

Published on Mar 26, 2013 3:40 PM
 
This picture shows a general view of the 10-storey headquarters building of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, in central Tokyo on Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The Buddhist temple on Tuesday won an auction for North Korea's de facto embassy in Japan, after it was seized by authorities for unpaid debts, the religious body said. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A Buddhist temple on Tuesday won an auction for North Korea's de facto embassy in Japan, after it was seized by authorities for unpaid debts, the religious body said.

The Saifukuji temple in south-western Kagoshima topped the bidding with 4.52 billion yen (S$59 million) in the forced auction, one of the temple's secretaries told AFP.

It was not known what plans the temple has for the building, but according to its website, priest Ekan Ikeguchi has visited North Korea several times in the past.

The property - a 2,390-sq-metre plot and a 10-storey building in central Tokyo, according to Jiji Press - has been used as the headquarters of Chongryon, the organisation that represents North Korean interests in Japan in the absence of diplomatic ties.

 
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