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Detained Chinese in Japan in good health
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-26 00:29

Officials from the Chinese embassy to Japan have visited seven Chinese citizens illegally detained by Japan, sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The citizens, who landed on the Diaoyu Islands and were taken to Naha, capital of Okinawa, by the Japanese side, are in good health, sources said.

Japan told to release Chinese unconditionally

Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo Thursday summoned Chikahito Harada, charge d' affaires of the Japanese Embassy in China, to lodge a solemn representation once again over Japan's illegal detention of Chinese citizens who landed on the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

A spokesman of the Foreign Ministry demanded the "immediate and unconditional" release of the seven Chinese activists.

Dai pointed out the Diaoyu Islands have been Chinese territory from ancient times over which China has indisputable sovereignty.

He said China strongly protests against Japan's illegal blocking of Chinese citizens from landing on the Diaoyu Islands and against its illegal detention of the seven.

This seriously infringed on China's territorial sovereignty and Chinese citizens' human rights, he said, adding that the Chinese Government and people will never accept it.

It is a fact that China and Japan are in dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, Dai said, adding that the Chinese Government has always advocated political negotiations to resolve the issue.

Since the Japanese side accepts that the two countries have different views, Japan's detention of the Chinese people according to its domestic law is a severe violation of international law, Dai said.

China will never accept Japan's attempts to deal with the issue according to its domestic laws, he emphasized.

Dai demands that Japan recognize the seriousness of the situation, and unconditionally release the detained Chinese citizens. Otherwise, he said, this issue could be complicated and intensified to jeopardize Sino-Japanese relations. The serious outcomes from this would have to be borne by Japan, he said.

Dai stressed the Chinese Government and leaders are concerned about the security of the Chinese citizens detained illegally, and China urges Japan to secure their safety, and not to take any action infringing on their dignity or rights.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan told a regular news briefing: "China expresses its protest and demands the Japanese side ensure the safety of the Chinese people and their immediate, unconditional release."

"We think this (the detention) is an illegal action which breaks international law and moreover it is a serious provocation against China's sovereignty and territory and the human rights of Chinese citizens," Kong said.

He said it is crystal clear that the Diaoyu Island and the archipelago around it are historically China's territory, to which China has indisputable sovereignty.

Located to the northeast of China's Taiwan Island, the cluster of islands is composed of Diaoyu Island, Huangwei Yu, Chiwei Yu, Nanxiao Dao, Beixiao Dao Island and some reefs, covering an area of 6.3 square kilometres.

Sources with the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday that the seven activists have already been taken to Okinawa.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Government has instructed its embassy in Japan to dispatch officials to the site.

Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui summoned Chikahito Harada, the charge d'affaires of the Japanese Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon.

Stressing China's sovereignty over the islands, Zhang said the Chinese Government and its people are firm in their determination and willingness to safeguard the national territory and sovereignty.

China's Ambassador to Japan Wu Dawei also lodged representations to the Japanese Vice-Foreign Minister Takeuchi Yukio in Tokyo on Wednesday.

A press release from China's Foreign Ministry quoted Wu as saying that Japan must bear all the consequences if it continues to strain the bilateral ties.

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