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article imageJapan's Coast Guard detains Chinese fishing vessel

By Greta McClain     Dec 31, 2012 in World
Amid continued political posturing and disputed claims of ownership to a set of islands in the East China Sea, Japan has confirmed they detained a Chinese fishing boat off the Japanese coast of Kagoshima Prefecture.
According to the official Xinhua News Agency, the fishing boat was detained Saturday at around 10:07 p.m. local time by Japan's Coast Guard. The vessel allegedly violated Japan's exclusive economic zone by engaging in unauthorized fishing. Lin Shiqin, captain of the Chinese vessel, admitted that he had strayed into Japanese waters.
The captain, along with two crew members, were taken to Kagoshima for questioning. The remainder of the crew remained aboard the vessel, guarded by members of Japan's Coast Guard.
On Monday, officials with Japan's Coast Guard confirmed that the boat had been detained. In a statement also issued on Monday, Hua Chunying, China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said:
"{We} require the Japanese side to protect the Chinese fishermen's safety and legitimate rights."
An official with the Chinese consulate has been dispatched to Kagoshima to visit with the crew members according to a BBC report.
This latest incident comes amid continued disputes over the island chain known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese. Two weeks ago, Digital Journal reported that Japan dispatched 8 fighter jets to intercept a Chinese reconnaissance plane flying near the islands. In September, Japan purchased the islands from the previous private owners. China has disputed the validity of sale, saying China has owned the islands since "ancient times".
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