Japan PM hopes for improved ties with China

Japan PM Naoto Kan said he believed Japan`s ties with China were recovering after Beijing released the last of four Japanese workers it had held for filming a military site.

Last Updated: Oct 09, 2010, 21:04 PM IST

Tokyo: Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Saturday
he believed Japan`s ties with China were recovering after
Beijing released the last of four Japanese workers it had held
for filming a military site.

China freed Sadamu Takahashi on bail today, nine days
after freeing his three fellow construction workers, who had
been detained since September 20 in the northern province of
Hebei amid a diplomatic storm.

China`s Xinhua news agency reported Takahashi had
been ordered to write a "statement of repentance".

Kan told reporters: "I believe various things are
returning to where they were before."

Takahashi`s release came five days after Kan and
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met in Brussels amid efforts to
ease tensions following Japan`s arrest of a Chinese captain
for ramming his trawler into Japanese coastguard boats in
disputed waters in the East China Sea.

Kan said he had agreed with Wen to "resume
high-level political exchanges" suspended following the sea
incident. The captain was released on September 25.

"This is already on the move," he added.

The other three Japanese were released on September
30 after admitting to violating Chinese law.

China has denied their arrests were related to the
sea incident. But Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara said
he would ask Beijing why Takahashi`s detention had been so
prolonged.

"We want to request explanations from the Chinese
side about why he was placed under so-called residential
surveillance for such a long period of time," Maehara told
public broadcaster NHK.

PTI