Activists arrested on disputed island

Aug. 15, 2012 at 11:16 AM
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TOKYO, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Japan said it arrested 14 Hong Kong activists for illegal entry after seven of their group landed on the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The seven were met by some 30 members of Japan's coast guard, police and immigration authorities when they set foot on the islet of Uotsuri Wednesday, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported.

Japan immediately lodged a protest with China over the landing and summoned China's ambassador to the Japanese foreign ministry.

The Senkaku islands are controlled by Japan but claimed by both China and Taiwan.

A spokesman for Japan's immigration bureau told China's official Xinhua news agency that the activists may be sent back to Hong Kong.

The 14 traveled in a fishing boat accompanied by journalists and the vessel's crew.

Their arrival is the latest in a series of incidents involving territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors.

Initially groups from Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China planned to take part in the voyage but the Taiwanese and Chinese activists withdrew.

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