Japan sends back Chinese activists after island landing: Kyodo

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2012 5:52 AM
Japan sends back Chinese activists after island landing: Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has sent home several Chinese activists who were arrested after they landed on an island claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, Kyodo news agency said on Friday, as Japanese authorities sought to defuse tensions between the two Asian neighbors over the disputed territory.

The first group of activists boarded a plane heading for Hong Kong from Okinawa in southern Japan and the remainder of the 14 activists will depart by ship later on Friday.

The feud over the uninhabited isles, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, which lie near potentially rich gas reserves, is one of several that are fraying Japan's ties with Asian neighbors China and South Korea nearly seven decades after the end of World War Two.

(Editing by Edmund Klamann)