China and Japan Press Demands in Sea Dispute
After a week, the dispute between China and Japan over a sea collision in disputed waters shows no sign of easing. From Reuters:
The quarrel between Asia’s two biggest economies has stirred up mutual distrust over sovereignty, national pride and influence and control of the potentially valuable undersea energy reserves.
It has festered for over a week since Japan arrested Zhan Qixiong, captain of a Chinese fishing boat seized after it collided with two Japan Coast Guard ships near small islands in the East China Sea that both powers claim.
Japan has also been preoccupied with domestic political contention. Prime Minister Naoto Kan beat a challenge to his leadership of the ruling Democratic Party on Tuesday.
China has repeatedly demanded that Japan immediately and unconditionally free Zhan, whose 14 crew members were released on Monday. Last week, Beijing bared its anger by cancelling planned talks over disputed gas beds in the East China Sea.
See also from the Christian Science Monitor: “China, Japan fishing boat standoff deepens amid delayed talks.”