China to take strong measures if Japan insists mistakes'

08:07, September 20, 2010      

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China said its relations with Japan were severely hurt on Sunday after Japan decided to prolong the detention of a Chinese trawler captain, warning to take "strong counter measures" if Japan did not release him.

"We demand the Japanese side immediately release the Chinese captain unconditionally," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu.

"China will take strong counter measures if the Japanese side clings obstinately to its own course and double its mistakes, and Japan shall bear all the consequences," Ma said in a press statement.

China has already suspended bilateral exchanges at and above the provincial or ministerial levels, Xinhua learnt from the Foreign Ministry.

China has also halted contact with Japan on the issues of increasing civil flights and expanding aviation rights between the two countries.

A bilateral meeting on coal has also been postponed.

In the mean time, the number of Chinese citizens traveling to Japan as tourists has already declined.

According to the ministry, Japan should be solely responsible for the above situation.

Two Japan Coast Guard patrol ships and the Chinese fishing boat collided in waters off the Diaoyu Islands on Sept. 7. The Japanese side illegally seized the Chinese trawler and fishermen, and continued to illegally hold the Chinese captain despite firm protests by the Chinese side.

Japan on Sunday extended by ten days the detention of the captain to Sept. 29.

The recent acts by the Japanese side have already severely damaged bilateral exchanges between China and Japan, according to sources from the Foreign Ministry.

"China has reiterated time and again that Japan's so-called legal procedures against the captain were illegal and invalid," said the spokesman Ma. "We demand the Japanese side immediately and unconditionally release the captain."

"Or the Japanese side must shoulder all consequences that arise," Ma added.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张心意)

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