40 Chinese protest near Japanese embassy over boat detention

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More than 40 Chinese Wednesday staged a protest near the Japanese embassy in Beijing over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat.

The unofficial China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands organized the half-hour protest on Wednesday noon.

Witnesses said the protesters chanted the Chinese national anthem while holding up national flags and banners, two of which read "Japan out of Diaoyu Islands" "Diaoyu Islands are China's and so is the East China Sea." Li Wen, a federation official, blasted Japan's act as aggression and demanded release of the fishing boat and crew members, an apology and compensation from the Japanese government.

If the demands were not met, the federation would organize Diaoyu Islands defenders to land on the islands during the National Day holiday, which runs through Oct. 1 to Oct. 7, Li said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Wednesday firmly protested to Japan over the detention of the Chinese fishing boat and its crew near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

The ministry demanded the Japanese side to release the detained Chinese ship and crew members and guarantee their safety.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue summoned Japanese ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa Wednesday to lodge the protest, which was the strongest wording so far after the incident.

Within 24 hours, the Chinese government summoned the ambassador on this issue for the second time.

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.

On the same day after the incident, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao summoned Uichiro Niwa and urged Japanese patrol boats to stop their illegal interception of Chinese fishing boats.

On Wednesday morning, Japan's Coast Guard arrested the captain of the fishing trawler despite China's requests.

The captain was taken to Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture at around 7 a.m. and the 14 Chinese crew were also taken to Ishigaki in the afternoon but were barred from disembarking, according to media reports.

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