China sets free three Japanese who entered military zone

September 30th, 2010 - 12:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 30 (IANS) China Thursday released three of the four Japanese detained for intruding into Chinese military zone, authorities said.

The three Japanese were released after “admitting to having violated Chinese law” and “showing regret for their mistakes”, Xinhua news agency said.

Sada Takahashi, one of the four Japanese nationals under house arrest for illegally videotaping military targets, is still being held for investigation.

The state security authorities in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern Hebei Province, said Sep 23 that the four Japanese nationals were held for investigation in China.

DPA adds:

Japanese media said the four men detained in China were believed to be working on a government-backed project to clear remnants of chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese troops during World War II.

Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara summoned China’s ambassador to Japan Monday to ask China to “secure the safety” of the four men, allow consular visits, and “resolve the case promptly”, the Japanese ministry said in a statement.

China announced the arrest of the four Japanese men last week amid a diplomatic stand-off over Japan’s detention of the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that collided with two Japanese coastguard vessels in disputed area of the East China Sea Sep 7.

Following the release of the Chinese captain Saturday, China has continued to demand an apology and compensation from Japan over the incident.

Japan accused the Chinese captain of deliberately colliding with the Japanese patrol ships near the islands, which are known as Senkaku in Japan, Diaoyu in China and Tiaoyutai in Taiwan.

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