Chinese people's willingness to travel to Japan drops amid diplomatic dispute

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China's National Tourism Administration said Thursday Chinese tourists' willingness to visit Japan has dropped because Japan continues to illegally detain a Chinese trawler captain despite China's repeated protestations.

Many Chinese citizens and businesses have recently canceled their planned trips to Japan, said an administration spokesman.

Some 1.19 million Chinese tourists visited Japan in the first seven months of the year, up 38 percent from the previous year.

Two Japan Coast Guard patrol ships and a Chinese trawler collided off China's Diaoyu Islands on Sept. 7. On the following day, the Japan Coast Guard illegally seized the Chinese trawler and detained the trawler's captain and 14 crew members.

Japanese authorities released the trawler's crew last week but continue to illegally detain the trawler's captain.

Despite China's repeated calls for the immediate release of the captain, a Japanese court on Sunday authorized a 10-day extension to the captain's detention. The captain's detention is scheduled to end Sept. 29.

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