Japan has arrested 14 activists from a Hong Kong-based fishing boat after they landed on the disputed Diaoyu Islands (Senkaku Islands in Japanese) on Wednesday, according to the Japan Times:
The seven activists who landed on the islet of Uotsuri at 5:31 p.m. were met by about 30 Japan Coast Guardsmen, police and immigration authorities who had arrived beforehand. Two of the seven returned to their vessel while the other five were interrogated by immigration officers and arrested on suspicion of illegal entry, Okinawa police said, adding that nobody was injured on either side.
A few hours later, nine more activists aboard the vessel, including members of the Hong Kong media, were also arrested for the same offense, the coast guard said.
The activists will be taken to Okinawa Island for further questioning. Then the police will decide whether to send the case to prosecutors or hand them over to immigration authorities for deportation.
Japan immediately lodged a protest with China over the landing. The government summoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to the Foreign Ministry to lodge the protest.
Tensions on the Diaoyu Islands escalated in April when the governor of Tokyo announced plans for the city to purchase them, and Chinese state media had issued a warning to the Japanese not to interfere with the visitors from Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal reported that the activists became the first from Hong Kong to land on the islands since 1996:
The dozen seafarers, who set out Sunday from Hong Kong, celebrated their landing as the culmination of a journey that had earlier been complicated by tropical storm warnings, food supplies lost overboard in choppy waters, and disappointment as hoped-for reinforcement boats from Taiwan and mainland China failed to materialize.
Throughout their voyage, the Hong Kong activists were
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