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Japanese activists land on Diaoyu Islands


08:12, August 20, 2012

• The Japanese coast guard confirmed that at least nine Japanese activists landed on Diaoyu Islands. • They arrived at the waters near the Diaoyu Islands with a group of 150 Japanese activists. • The group plans to hold a ceremony for people died in the war in 1945.

TOKYO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese Maritime Safety Agency confirmed that 10 Japanese activists landed on the Diaoyu Islands Sunday, local media reported.

The Japanese coast guard's patrol vessels found 10 people swam to the Diaoyu Islands from their fleet at around 7:30 Sunday, and called them to leave as soon as possible after their landing.

The 10 people, no parliamentarians, remained at the island for about two hours and unfurled several Japanese flags. All of them left the island and swam back to their boats before 10:00.

A fleet of around 150 Japanese activists and 21 vessels departed from the Ishigaki city Saturday and arrived at the waters near the Diaoyu Islands early Sunday morning. The Japanese government had rejected their landing application earlier this month.

The group also plans to hold a ceremony for people who died in World War II and investigate fishery conditions in the waters near the Diaoyu Islands to declare the islands are Japanese territory.

China on Saturday lodged solemn representations with Japan as the group comprising some Japanese lawmakers and members of right- wing groups plan to go to the Diaoyu Islands waters to hold activities. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said that China has urged the Japanese side to immediately stop the action that seeks to undermine China's territorial sovereignty.

Thousands of people in a number of Chinese cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Harbin and Qingdao, took to the street on Sunday morning to voice their opposition to the Japanese activists' landing on the Diaoyu Islands.

The act of the Japanese activists came after 14 Chinese activists arrived at the Diaoyu Islands by a Hong Kong fishing vessel to assert China's territorial claim to the islands last Wednesday. They were illegally arrested shortly after and were released last Friday.

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