Japan-China Row Worsens

"National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism"Conflict between Japan and China over Tokyo’s continued detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain caught in disputed waters took a turn for the worse on Tuesday, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned Tokyo that it would “bear all consequences” resulting from the situation.

Wen’s statement, delivered in New York to overseas Chinese, is the first to be given by a high-level Beijing official with regard to the two-week old conflict. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, which posted the statement on its Web site, also said that Wen would not be meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan later this week, when they both attend United Nations meetings.

On Wednesday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said “it would be good to quickly hold high-level talks” to settle the issue, which has already driven China to cut ministerial-level contacts with Japan.

The conflict stemmed from an incident two weeks ago where a Chinese fishing boat collided with Japanese coast guard vessels near disputed islands in the East China Sea. The group of islands, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu, is claimed by both countries.

Photo credit: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism