Police charged three trading company executives Tuesday with exporting high- technology equipment to China in violation of rules governing the sale of Western technology to communist nations.

The Metropolitan Police Department said it arrested Yoshikazu Ono, 44, and Teruko Takeuchi, 43, of the Kyokuto Shokai Co.; and Yasuhiko Kusabe, 51, of Shinsei Koeki.Police said Kyokuto Shokai and Shinsei Koeki exported electronic equipment to China between June 1985 and November 1986 without government permission.

Mr. Ono was in charge of all exports by Kyokuto Shokai, while Mr. Takeuchi was in charge of the company's exports to China. Mr. Kusabe was in charge of exports by Shinsei Koeki.

The three were charged with violating two Japanese laws, the Foreign Exchange and Trade Control Law and the Customs Law.

Exporting such equipment to communist nations is banned by the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls, a Paris-based watchdog body on trade with Communist bloc nations.

Police also filed charges under the same laws against the two companies and Iwatsu Electric Co., which manufactured the exported products. Police said Iwatsu is suspected of supplying digital equipment to Kyokuto knowing that it would be exported to China.

The United States demanded that Japan enforce its export controls after Toshiba Machine Co., a subsidiary of electronics giant Toshiba Corp., was charged last year with illegally exporting sophisticated technology to the Soviet Union.

Police raided the three companies charged Tuesday on April 5 in response to a Ministry of International Trade and Industry request. A ministry official said it had investigated the case independently based on tips given by a U.S. government official, whom it declined to identify.

China is coming to be treated differently from the rest of the Soviet bloc countries in terms of export controls, said Ichiro Takahara, deputy director of export section of the trade ministry. But there is no excuse on these cases because it evaded the responsibility of applying for (ministry) permission.

Mr. Takahara said permission would not have been granted because of restrictions on the export of the equipment.

Defense analysts said the products have limited military applications.

Penalties for the men could vary. Two Toshiba employees were sentenced to two years in prison and fined $80,000 for the same offense.