Home > Asia > Chinese premier threatens action against Japan

Chinese premier threatens action against Japan

Top news: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demanded the immediate release of a Chinese fishing boat captain, who has been held for two weeks, as Chinese-Japanese tension continued to rise.

“This is totally illegal, unreasonable and has already caused much suffering to the family of the captain… If Japan clings to its course, China will take further action,” Wen said to a Chinese-American group in New York, where he is attending the U.N. General Assembly. His comments were reprinted on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The captain was arrested after colliding with a Japanese coast guard vessel near a chain of disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese. The crew of the boat has been released and Japanese prosecutors have until Sept. 29 to decide whether to try the captain.

The customary meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders at the U.N.G.A. has been called off this year because of the heightened tension. Anti-Japanese protests have broken out throughout China. Activists from mainland China and Taiwan have attempted to sail to the islands, called Diaoyu in Chinese, in order to assert territorial claims. It is believed that the waters around the islands may also contain rich oil and gas deposits.

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