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Japan arrests Chinese activists over Diaoyu Islands issue on anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender (2)


08:07, August 16, 2012

The Japanese Coast Guard for its part, however, maintained it used no "forcible" measures over the landing and the local police in Okinawa stated that none of the arrested were injured.

Following the landing, Japan lodged a protest with China, according to its top government spokesman Osamu Fujimura. In addition, the Japanese government summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to the Foreign Ministry to lodge an official complaint with Beijing.

The Chinese envoy said he hoped the actions would not negatively affect bilateral relations between the two countries, but Tokyo denounced the landing and the ignoring of its Coast Guard as "deplorable" with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stating that the detainees would be dealt with "in line with the law."

Immigration Department officials will be sent from Hong Kong to Japan to provide assistance to the activists, officials sources said Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday reiterated its requirement that Japan "refrain from taking any action that could endanger the safety of the lives and property of Chinese citizens going to the Diaoyu Islands."

China's Foreign Ministry also said Wednesday it will lodge a complaint with Japan following the arrest of the five activists and will "pay close attention to the developments of relevant issues," adding that China's position on the Diaoyu Islands issue remains "clear and resolute."

The Hong Kong-based Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands was founded in 1996 and comprises around 50 members, according to official sources.

Wednesday's landing by the 5 activists marks the first on the Diaoyu Islands by a Chinese faction since March 2004 and as many as six protest vessels have been officially prevented from heading to the islands by Chinese government officials since 2009.

The landing came on the 67th anniversary of the end of World War II, following Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces.

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