China demands Japan release detained boat captain

September 11, 2010 07:09

BEIJING — China's foreign minister demanded that Tokyo immediately release the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that collided with two Japanese patrol vessels near disputed islands. But a Japanese court ruled he can be held 10 more days, deepening the diplomatic spat.

Yang Jiechi made the demand Friday to Ambassador Uichrio Niwa after the Japanese envoy was summoned for the third time over the crash.

Hours after Yang's protest, a Japanese court allowed prosecutors to keep the captain in custody until Sept. 19 before deciding whether to press charges against him, Naha District Court spokesman Yasuhide Yamashiro said.

Late Friday, China announced that it was postponing talks scheduled earlier with Japan on the East China Sea issue in a sign of its anger. The talks, scheduled for mid-September, would have been the second governmental meeting over the territorial disputes in that area.

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