Tokyo: Japan's coast guard has seized two Chinese fishing vessels and their captains for suspected illegal fishing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), the Kyodo news agency reported.
The trawlers were seized on Friday off Ishikawa prefecture within Japan's exclusive economic zone, Kyodo quoted the coast guard as saying.
It named the captains as Wang Fugui, 26, and Zheng Wenwu, 35, and said each of the ships had 17 Chinese citizens on board in total.
Tensions have risen between the two Asian rivals over what Japan described last week as China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea, where the two countries have conflicting territorial claims, and the Pacific Ocean.
China broke off all high-level contact with Tokyo last September after Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain whose vessel collided with Japanese coast guard patrol ships in waters claimed by both sides.
First Published: Saturday, August 06, 2011, 10:38