China issues Japan travel warning amid row

China has issued a travel warning for Japan after a visiting Chinese tour group was attacked and harassed, as a bitter row between the neighbours rumbles on.

The National Tourism Administration warned "Chinese tourists and tour groups currently in Japan or planning to go to Japan in the near future to watch their travel safety," in a statement on its website late Thursday.

The tourism agency said the warning followed an incident in Japan's south-western Fukuoka city on Wednesday when the bus of a Chinese tour group "was attacked by Japanese right-wingers." There were no further details provided.

Media reports have said the bus was surrounded by dozens of vehicles in downtown Fukuoka, before people started kicking it and shouting abuse at the Chinese tourists inside. The incident reportedly lasted 20 minutes.

China and Japan have been locked in a diplomatic dispute for more than three weeks, triggered when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese coastguard vessels in disputed waters in the East China Sea.

The trawler's captain was arrested the next day, prompting Beijing to suspend high-level contacts with Tokyo.

In a separate incident, four Japanese were later arrested in China for allegedly filming a military site. Three of these have been released and are due back in Japan Friday.

Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called on China to free the remaining Japanese detainee.

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