Japanese PM Kan voices concern regarding China's defence spending and its maritime activities; Kan calls Beijing to free a remaining Japanese detainee; China plans to regularly deploy its fisheries patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands;
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  • Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has voiced concern regarding China's defence spending and its maritime activities and urged it to act as a "responsible member of the international community". This statement comes at the backdrop of the gravest row in years, which has been sparked by a maritime incident near a Japanese-administered disputed island chain, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China which is claimed by both sides.1

    In further developments on the Japan-China row, Prime Minister Kan called on Beijing to free a remaining Japanese detainee who has not been released. This statement came after a few hours of the release of three Japanese nationals. China freed three of the four Japanese men held for allegedly filming a military site but warned Tokyo to stop making "irresponsible remarks" over the standoff.2

    In another development, China has decided to regularly deploy its fisheries patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands in an apparent reaction to the arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain near the Japanese islets in September 2010. It was anticipated that the administration of President Hu Jintao would intensify such patrols as a retaliatory measure against the arrest and detention of the captain.3 On the other hand, Russia slammed Japan for its condemnation of a plan for President Dmitry Medvedev’s to visit the Kuril Islands by calling it unacceptable.4

    In other developments, reports suggest that Japanese government and oil developer Inpex Corp. plan to completely withdraw from Iran's largest onshore oil field project to avoid possible US sanctions.5 Meanwhile Japan has also stated that it will keep a close watch on developments in the leadership in North Korea after its leader Kim Jong Il's third son was appointed as a military general.6

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