The Japanese government has said it is planning to file a lawsuit against the captain of the Chinese fishing boat that ran into a Japanese patrol vessel back in 2010. Beijing met the news with criticism, saying that this action can be considered an act of provocation and Japan should be the one giving compensation.
Japan’s Transport Minister Akihiro Ota said on Wednesday that they are filing a civil suit against the 44-year-old Zhan Qixiong, at the district court in Okinawa. They will be asking for $140,000 for the damage to the Japan Coast Guard vessel when he slammed his trawler into the ship back in 2010. The incident occurred near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea. Because Japanese officials do not actually have the authority to force the skipper to appear before the court, this may just be a “symbolic gesture.” They have already sent 11 invoices to the captain but not surprisingly, they have been ignored. The Japan Coast Guard say they will be making the video recordings of the incident available to the public and this will also be presented as evidence in the court case.
The suit was filed a few days before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the payment order which was first filed two years ago. China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a media briefing on Wednesday that Japan was the one who violated China’s territorial sovereignty as they continue to claim that the islands are part of their territory. She said, “We urge the Japanese side to stop provocations and take practical action to recognize and correct its errors.” She also called the lawsuit “illegal and invalid,” although it is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to Japan’s actions regarding the incident.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]
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