Japan Deporting 14 Chinese Activists

Posted August 17th, 2012 at 1:10 am (UTC-5)
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Japan has decided to deport 14 Chinese activists who were arrested after landing on an island claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing.

The activists landed on the island in the East China Sea on Wednesday, planting a Chinese flag and singing the country's national anthem before being arrested and accused of violating Japanese immigration laws.

Police said Friday that all 14 had been transferred to immigration for processing. Chief Cabinet Secretary told reporters in Tokyo Friday that he did not know when the deportations would take place.

Beijing has demanded that the activists be unconditionally released.

The uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyo in Chinese, are a frequent flashpoint between Tokyo and Beijing. They are located in a gas-rich area and surrounded by rich fishing grounds.

The islands were administered by the United States from the end of World War II until they were transferred back to Japan in 1972. They represent not only important natural resources, but also a source of national pride in both Japan and China.