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Japan to transfer arrested Chinese activists to Naha, Okinawa

(Xinhua)

20:16, August 15, 2012

TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan arrested five activists from Hong Kong who landed on the Diaoyu Islands at around 5:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday on suspicion of illegal entry, according to police from Japan's Okinawa.

Two other activists who also landed on the islands returned to the fishing vessel, said the police.

"The activists ignored warning from Japan before landing on the islands. But none of the arrested was hurt," police said, adding that the arrested activists will be transferred to Naha, a coastal city in the southern part of Okinawa, which is also the capital of Okinawa.

"They may be transferred to the Immigration Bureau of Japan later and sent back to Hong Kong," a spokesman from Japan Coast Guard (JCG) told Xinhua earlier.

The Japanese government summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo to lodge a protest, chief government spokesman Osamu Fujimura said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry is also contacting the Japanese side to lodge representations over five Chinese nationals' detention on the Diaoyu Islands, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

The Hong Kong fishing vessel carrying eight Chinese activists seeking to assert China's claim to the Diaoyu Islands departed from Hong Kong on Sunday, according to previous media reports.

China has asked Japan to refrain from taking any action that could endanger the safety of the lives and property of Chinese citizens going to the Diaoyu Islands, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said in a press statement Wednesday.

"China is paying close attention to the developments of relevant issues, and it has expressed its serious concerns over the issues to the Japanese side," Qin said, adding that China's position on the Diaoyu Islands issue remains "clear and resolute".
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