China has arrested a number of suspects who ripped off the Japanese flag in a recent attack in Beijing on a car carrying Japan’s ambassador Uichiro Niwa, according to Nikkei.
The exact number of people arrested is still unknown, says the report by the leading Japanese newspaper, and an investigation into their motives is still ongoing.
On Monday, Uichiro Niwa’s official car was stopped by two other vehicles. A man said to be in his 30s jumped on his car, quickly grabbing the flag before fleeing.
Quick-thinking employees of the Japanese Embassy managed to snap photos of the man as well as the car plate number of the accomplices. This was later handed over to Chinese authorities as evidence.
Meanwhile, both countries are trying to ease the tension raised by a series of conflicts over the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands.
Uichiro Niwa has since characterised the incident as a “separate incident” and hopes that it will not harm the overall relationship between China and Japan.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry of China has promised a thorough investigation of the incident and guaranteed the safety of foreign diplomats.
Japan’s Vice Foreign Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi has carried a letter written by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a news conference on Tuesday that in the letter Noda stressed the importance of the Sino-Japanese relationship and for a “calm handling” of the territorial dispute.