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China paying attention to detained fishermen in Japan


BEIJING, Nov. 6 (Yonhap) -- China said Wednesday its diplomats have met with Chinese fishermen detained by Japan's Coast Guard on suspicion of illegally fishing in Japanese waters four days ago, adding that it is "paying high attention" to the case.

The 12 Chinese fishermen were arrested on Saturday for allegedly fishing inside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Such arrests are not uncommon.

"The Chinese foreign ministry is paying high attention to the case and has launched an emergency response mechanism," ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters during a regular press briefing.

China asked "the relevant department of Japan to earnestly protect the safety of the Chinese crew members and deal with the relevant case in accordance with laws as well as in a just and proper manner," Hong said.

China and Japan have been locked in a bitter dispute over a set of islands in the East China Sea, which are known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

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