- China has released three of the four Fujita Corp. employees arrested for unauthorized filming in a “military zone”.

The three Japanese nationals released on Thursday admitted to violating Chinese law, Xinhua news agency said.

Japan’s media identified the fourth man as 57-year-old Sadamu Takahashi.

A government spokesman said it was not clear why the men had been detained and that China had been asked for a detailed account of the incident. (Link)

- Traders say that China has resumed the export of rare earth minerals to Japan that China says it was not actually doing.

Two trading house officials said Wednesday that China has resumed giving the green light to Japan-bound exports of the exotic metals. But they said shipments have not arrived in Japan due to tighter custom inspections at Chinese ports. (Link)

- Over 1,000 people cancelled flights between China and Japan on Japan Air Lines. As though JAL doesn’t have enough trouble…

“If they continue cancelling our flights, we may have to look at the possibility of reducing the number of flights,” JAL president Masaru Onishi told a regular news conference.

“If the situation lasts long, it will hit our revenue by billions of yen,” he said.

JAL, which has been restructuring after going under in January, is operating flights between four airports in Japan and Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. (Link)

-Both the ruling DPJ and minority LDP political parties in the Japanese Diet have agreed to request that the video purported to show the Chinese fishing boat captain ramming two Japan Coast Guard vessels be made public. The government has said it will release the video if the Diet wants it.

Media reported the government was likely to submit the footage, which Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara has claimed will clearly prove the Chinese vessel was at fault in the incident, which severely strained bilateral relations.

The release of the video, however, may also fuel criticism both at home and abroad by increasing public criticism of the government for releasing the captain of the ship too early and reigniting the war of words with Beijing. (Link)

The LDP also has scathing words for the Kan government:

Itsunori Onodera of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party slammed Kan for letting the Naha Prosecutor’s Office release the captain before watching the footage himself.

“I consider this our nation’s biggest foreign policy blunder since the end of World War II, and I believe Prime Minister Kan is the one solely responsible for this failure,” Onodera said.

The opposition has criticized the Naha prosecutors for exceeding their authority by releasing the captain, which they said was done with diplomatic relations in mind. The opposition camp has also accused the government of meddling in the decision.


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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch