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Japan arrests all 14 Chinese activists over Diaoyu Islands issue

(Xinhua)

08:05, August 16, 2012

• Japan arrested 14 Chinese activists Wednesday including seven who landed on the Diaoyu Islands.
• They may be transferred to the Immigration Bureau of Japan later and sent back to Hong Kong.
• "China is paying close attention to the developments of relevant issues.“ FM spokesman said.


TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japan in total arrested 14 Chinese activists on Wednesday including seven who landed on the Diaoyu Islands at around 5:30 p.m. local time on suspicion of illegal entry, and would later detain the vessel, according to police from Japan's Okinawa.

Police earlier arrested five from the seven activists who landed on the islands. Two other managed to return to the fishing vessel, police said. The other nine people were arrested later Wednesday.

The 14 activists were on the Hong Kong fishing vessel seeking to assert China's claim to the Diaoyu Islands. The vessel departed from Hong Kong on Sunday, according to previous media reports.

"The activists ignored warning from Japan before landing on the islands. But none of the arrested were 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.

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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