Chinese captain sent to prosecutors

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, September 9, 2010
Adjust font size:

Japan Coast Guard sent the captain of a Chinese trawler which collided with Japanese patrol ships in waters off Diaoyu Islands to prosecutors in Okinawa Prefecture Thursday morning.

The 41-year-old captain, Zhan Qixiong, was taken to Ishigaki branch of the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office at around 9: 50 a.m. (0050 GMT), according to Xinhua reporters at the scene.

On Tuesday, two Japan Coast Guard patrol boats and the Chinese fishing boat collided in waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

No injuries were reported, but the fishing boat was then intercepted by Japanese patrol boats.

Japan Coast Guard arrested the captain on suspicion of "obstructing public duties" early Wednesday near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea despite China's protest.

The other 14 crew members, all Chinese, were not arrested, but were kept in an area off Ishigaki and remain there during their captain's questioning.

The Chinese embassy officials met with the captain at the Ishigaki Coast Guard Office in Ishigaki and the other crew members aboard the fishing boat on Wednesday.

The embassy said in a press release sent to Xinhua that the 14 Chinese crew members are healthy and in a stable mood. The embassy had already contacted their families in China.

"The embassy is going all-out to negotiate with the Japanese side, demanding the immediate release of the boat and the crew," the release said.

Also on Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry lodged a strong protest against Japan over the detention of the boat.

Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue summoned the Japanese Ambassador to China Uichiro Niwa to lodge the protest.

This was the second time within 24 hours that the Chinese government summoned the Japanese ambassador and lodged solemn representations on this issue.

Hu demanded that the Japanese side immediately release the ship and crew members on board and guarantee the safety of the persons and the ship.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said the incident will be handled "in a strict manner based on our country's laws," while top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said he believes the arrest will not affect ties between Japan and China despite exchanges of protests and it is necessary for Tokyo not to "heat up" in dealing with the incident.

Diaoyu Islands appeared on China's map since the Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644). Fishermen from China's Taiwan and Fujian and other provinces have conducted activities such as fishing and collecting herbs in this area since ancient times.

Geologically, the islands are attached to Taiwan. The waters around the islands are 100 to 150 meters deep, and there is a 2, 000-meter-deep oceanic trench between the islands and Okinawa islands.

Japan never questioned China's sovereignty over the islands before the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1895.

In June 2008, a Taiwanese fishing boat and a Japanese patrol boat collided about 9 km south of the Diaoyu Islands. The Taiwanese ship sank but all crew members were rescued.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from