China has suspended high-level exchanges with Japan and promised tough countermeasures after a Japanese court extended the detention of a Chinese captain whose trawler collided with two Japanese coastguard ships.
The spat between Asia’s two largest economies has flared since Japan arrested the captain, accusing him of deliberately striking a patrol ship and obstructing public officers near uninhabited islets in the East China Sea claimed by both sides.
“China demands that Japan immediately release the captain without any preconditions,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement on the ministry’s website, repeating that Beijing viewed the detention as illegal and invalid.
“If Japan acts wilfully despite advice to the contrary and insists on making one mistake after another, the Chinese side will take strong countermeasures, and all the consequences should be borne by the Japanese side,” Ma said.
Meanwhile, see “China says relations with Japan “severely hurt”, will take counter measures if Japan insists mistakes” from Xinhua, and “China shouldn’t stir up anti-Japanese sentiment” from the Daily Yomiuri.