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Tokyo set to release detained activists (2)

By Zhou Wa and Wang Chenyan (China Daily)

08:18, August 17, 2012




It was clear that Tokyo would not let Wednesday's landing escalate into a fully-fledged diplomatic incident because of lessons learnt in 2010, Zhou said.

The price would have been high if Tokyo copied its 2010 behavior, Zhou said.

Japan has initiated a series of disputes centering on the islands since the beginning of this year, Li Wei, director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

Li emphasized that the Japanese government should reflect on the situation before taking any further measures.

Meanwhile, residents in Okinawa Prefecture and sections of the media in Japan were demanding a cool approach.

"It is of the utmost importance for us to fish in safe waters," Kameichi Uehara, 50, from the Yaeyama Fisheries Cooperative Association, told Asahi Shimbun.

An editorial in the Nikkei Shimbun warned that unpopular political leaders should not gamble with diplomatic relations to improve their image.

All of the 14 Chinese activists arrived on Thursday in Naha, China Central Television reported.

The Hong Kong SAR government and its representative office in Tokyo also sent officials to join the working group from the embassy and consulates to visit the activists and lodged representations with the Japanese.

Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry Shinsuke Sugiyama canceled a visit to China on Thursday, Phoenix TV reported on Thursday morning.

Sugiyama planned to visit Beijing to discuss details on a Tokyo-Pyongyang meeting to be held on Aug 29 in Beijing, but he canceled the trip because of the landing, Phoenix TV said.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said the cancellation was in protest against the landing, according to Japanese media.

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