The Chinese consulate in Nagasaki, Japan, is negotiating with Japanese authorities after their country's coastguard arrested a Chinese skipper off its southwestern coast. The incident could cast shadows over a series of bilateral exchanges between China and Japan in the next two months. However, analysts said it would not lead to a rift like last year's after a collision between Japanese patrol boats and a Chinese trawler near the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which Japan calls the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese coastguard said they arrested a Chinese captain named Zhang Tianxiong on Sunday morning off Japan's Goto Islands in the East China Sea and charged him with refusing an inspection and fleeing. The coastguard spotted Zhang's boat and another Chinese vessel sailing through the islands' waters, and warned them to stop. But the boats ignored the calls, prompting the coastguard to give chase. The other boat escaped, but Zhang's 135-tonne vessel was captured. Zhang was arrested, and the other 10 crew members aboard were questioned. Zhang could face up to six months in jail or a fine of up to 300,000 yen (HK$30,000) if convicted. A spokesman for the Chinese consulate in Nagasaki said they were talking to Japanese authorities and verifying how the incident unfolded. Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Osamu Fujimura, said in a press conference yesterday that it was a 'regular' case that would be dealt with according to domestic laws, news agency Kyodo reported. He also said Japan had informed China of the incident via diplomatic channels. China's Foreign Ministry did not comment on the incident. Beijing suspended ministerial-level meetings last year after a Chinese trawler collided with Japanese patrol boats. The captain was arrested by Japan, but was later sent back to China. Japanese trade companies also accused Beijing of halting exports of rare earth minerals. But bilateral ties have improved following a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan in March, which saw China provide aid. A series of high-level exchanges between the two countries are planned over the coming weeks. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who will visit Beijing in late December, will meet President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum meeting. Japan's foreign minister, Koichiro Gemba, will visit Beijing on November 22 and 23. Liu Jiangyong, a Southeast Asian affairs expert at Tsinghua University, said the future of Sino-Japan ties mainly depends on how Noda handles his country's policies regarding China. Yang Baoyun , an expert on Southeast Asian affairs at Peking University, said the latest incident won't significantly damage bilateral ties because it happened in Japanese territorial waters. But Yang Bojiang, a professor of Japanese studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the incident may cast a shadow over the high-level exchanges. Gemba has voiced concerns over China's growing naval power and its activities near the disputed islands. Noda has also said Asian countries should work together to push China's military to obey rules, with reference to disputes in the South China Sea. 'Noda may not be as friendly to China as expected,' Yang Bojiang said. 'The latest arrest is adding frost to the snow.'