Japan arrests captain of Chinese ship near Diaoyu Islands despite China's representations

10:24, September 08, 2010      

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Japan's Coast Guard arrested the captain of a Chinese fishing boat early Wednesday near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea despite China's representations.

According to Japanese media, the captain was arrested on suspicion of "obstructing public duties" in connection with collisions with Coast Guard patrol boats.

The trawler captain, a 41-year-old Chinese national, "will be taken to the prosecutors or police nearby and will be (questioned) under Japanese procedures," Kyodo News quoted a senior government official as saying.

The public broadcaster NHK reported that the captain was taken to Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture at around 7 a.m. and the 14 Chinese crew will also be taken to Ishigaki in the afternoon but will be barred from disembarking.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao on Tuesday summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa and lodged solemn representations on Japan's interception of Chinese fishing boats.

Two Japanese patrol boats collided with a Chinese fishing boat in waters off the Diaoyu islands Tuesday. No injuries were reported from the collision, but then the fishing boat was intercepted by Japanese patrol boats.

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