The Japan Coast Guard has reported that on Wednesday morning, a fishing boat with nine Taiwanese activists sailed into the area of the disputed Senkaku Islands, and then into Japan’s territorial waters shortly after. Known as the Diaoyu in China, the small group of disputed island in the East China Sea are the source of heated tensions between the Tokyo and Beijing governments. After Japan Coast Guard vessels approached and warned the fishing boat to leave, the activists displayed a Japanese language sign that claimed the area rightfully belonged to China.
Osamu Fujimura, Tokyo’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters that they didn’t know what the activist’s plans were, but their entry into Japanese waters would not be tolerated. Just after the fishing boat was approached by the Japan Coast Guard, they found that five patrol boats from Taiwan’s Coast Guard were also in accompaniment. Officials in Taipei stated their vessels were there to watch over the fishing boat, as well as protect their claims over the island territory. That’s right, even Taiwan lays claim to these large hunks of rock in the sea, calling them Tiaoyutai in Taiwanese.
After a few hours, the Taiwanese fishing boat was inspected by the Japan Coast Guard and instructed to leave. Reportedly some of the Taiwan Coast Guard members boarded the boat and directed it back to Taiwan. Before the whole incident was over, however, a patrol ship from the Taiwan Coast Guard “bumped” into one of the Japanese patrol ships. Officials say the two boats were moving in the same direction, and the only damage was a little scratched paint. Now that Taiwan is asserting its claims, by displaying a pro-China sign for some reason, maybe that Chinese iPad app developer needs to update their “Protect the Diaoyu Islands” game to include some new enemies.