BEIJING - China of course has the right to demand the Japanese side to make apology and compensation for its seizure of a Chinese trawler, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said here Saturday evening.
Jiang said in a statement obtained by Xinhua that the acts of the Japanese side have severely infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and the personal rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Jiang made the remarks when asked to comment on the Japanese government's response to Chinese Foreign Ministry's statement on the incident.
A spokesman of the Japanese foreign ministry said earlier Saturday that China's demand for apology and compensation is absolutely not acceptable. The spokesman Satoru Sato said in a statement that since the Chinese trawler had obstructed official operations, the Japanese side has sternly and cautiously dealt with the case in accordance with its law. Meanwhile, he said Japan will continue to seek a mutually beneficial and strategic relationship with China.
China hopes that the Japanese side should take real actions to add to the content of the mutually beneficial and strategic relationship between the two countries.
On September 7, two Japan Coast Guard patrol ships and a Chinese trawler collided in waters off China's Diaoyu Islands. On the following day, the Japan Coast Guard illegally seized the Chinese trawler and detained the trawler's captain and 14 fishermen on board, drawing strong protests from the Chinese government and people.
The Japanese side freed the 14 fishermen and the boat on September 15, but continued to hold the captain. A Japanese court announced on September 19 the trawler captain's detention would be extended by another 10 days.
The Chinese trawler captain Zhan Qixiong arrived safely in Fuzhou, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province early Saturday after China's repeated demand for his release and warning for "strong counter measures".
In a comment on the return of the Chinese capitain, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara claimed that the territorial issue between Japan and China in the East China Sea does not exist. He said Japan will continue to make determined response if similar situation arise in the future.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said in a statement Saturday that the Chinese government will as always stand fast in safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.