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Beijing blasts Okinawa for latest call for trawler captain prosecution

Date Posted: 2011-05-03

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman has lashed out at a Japanese prosecution inquest panelís decision to seek indictment of a Chinese fishing trawler captain whoís vessel collided with two Japan Coast Guard patrol ships last September.

Hong Lei called the inquest panelís call for the indictment both illegal and invalid. The panel in Naha is seeking the indictment of the captain for his role in the incident near disputed East China Sea islands in early September last year. The islands are called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The islands are inherent territory of China, and Japanese legal procedures over the Chinese skipper are illegal and invalid, Hong said at a press conference.

Following the ship collision, the skipper was arrested by Japanese authorities on suspicion of obstructing public duties of the Coast Guard. The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office later decided not to indict the skipper and released him. He returned to China in late September.

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