Japan withdraws from Beijing tourism festival
Japan's delegation has withdrawn from an international tourism festival in Beijing following demonstrations against the arrest of a Chinese captain. The arrest came after collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard patrol ships in Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands.
The 4 Japanese groups withdrew from the Beijing International Tourism Festival just before Sunday's opening. Twenty-one countries and regions are taking part in the 3-day festival to promote exchanges with China through the tourism industry. The groups made the decision after the Beijing authorities told them on Friday and Saturday that their security cannot be guaranteed under the circumstances. A member of a Japanese traditional dance group from Tokyo, Kazunari Azumi, said he wanted to perform, but was unable to do so. He added that he hopes to take part in next year's festival. Groups from Hokkaido and Okinawa are visiting China as part of the Japan-China youth exchange program sponsored by the Japanese government. They told a news conference in Beijing that they were sorry they couldn't participate in the festival but they think they will have another chance in the future.