Japan has detained a Chinese fishing boat and eight crew members for illegal fishing around southwestern Japan.
The incident is not likely to spark a dispute as it didn’t occur in contested waters, but it comes as tensions have been rising over an island dispute that has raised fears of an armed confrontation between Beijing and Tokyo.
The fishing boat was detained Thursday off Nagasaki prefecture, hundreds of kilometres away from the disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.
A Japanese fisheries official in nearby Fukuoka confirmed the incident took place on Thursday but gave no other details.
The Chinese government did not immediately respond to faxed questions on Friday.