BEIJING — China's premier has threatened Japan for the
first time in a growing fight over disputed islands, saying his country
will take "further actions" if Japan does not immediately release a ship
captain whose detention has splintered relations between the Asia
Wen Jiabao's comments Tuesday night in New York were the
first by a top Chinese leader on the issue that has led Beijing to
suspend ministerial-level contacts with Tokyo. China also has said Wen
would not meet with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan during UN
meetings in New York this week.
In comments carried on the website
of China's Foreign Ministry, Wen laid the blame for the dispute
entirely at Japan's door.
Tokyo "bears full responsibility for the
situation, and it will bear all consequences," he said to a gathering
of overseas Chinese.