China postpones talks with Japan, demands release of fishing crew
China said it would postpone talks over a disputed set of islands in the East China Sea, after Japan refused to release a fishing crew detained earlier in the week, state media reported Saturday.
"The Japanese side has ignored China's repeated solemn representations and firm oppositions, and obstinately decided to put the Chinese captain under the so-called judiciary procedures. China expresses strong discontent and grave protest to the move," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu was quoted as saying by Shanghai Daily.
On Tuesday, Japanese authorities arrested the 41-year-old captain an 14 crew members of a Chinese fishing boat after a collision near the islands known as Diaoyu in China, and Senkaku in Japan, dpa reported.
Bilateral talks over the contested region had been scheduled for mid-September, but China said late Friday that it had postponed its involvement.
After Tuesday's incident, China's Foreign Ministry summoned Japanese Ambassador Uichiro Niwa on three occasions, demanding the release of the fishing crew.
According to the Kyodo news agency, Niwa responded that the accident "occurred in Japanese territorial waters, and that (Japan) is handling the case in line with domestic law."
The boat captain will remain in Japanese custody until at least September 19, the agency reported