Beijing: China has rejected a Japanese judicial panel's verdict to indict captain of Chinese fishing vessel involved in collision with Japan's patrol boats off disputed islands in East China Sea last year that sparked off diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said after a judicial panel of citizens in Japan voted for the mandatory indictment of 42-year-old Zhan Qixiong.

"I would like to reiterate that the Diaoyu Islands and adjacent islets are an integral part of Chinese territory from ancient times," Ma said in a statement.

The island which is currently administered by Japan is also claimed by China.

Any form of "so-called judiciary procedures" taken by the Japanese side against the Chinese trawler is unlawful and invalid, Ma added.

The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office will lodge a prosecution to the Chinese captain in accordance with the request of the Japanese judicial panel.

After the collision last September, Japan seized the Chinese boat and its crew and only returned the crew and trawler but detained the skipper who was released after a prolonged standoff between the two countries.

(Agencies)