A small group of Hong Kong activists was stopped for the second time on Thursday for setting sail to disputed uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. They claim they were going fishing. But their trip comes as relations between China and Japan are tense over the Japanese government's detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain.
Authorities say this Hong Kong vessel was not authorized to carry passengers--and those on board were not fishing crew.
[Lo Chau, Activist]: (male, Cantonese)
"The police didn't go down into the ship to check for crew or passengers. We didn't go out sailing so the police had no way of confirming if we were fishing or not. We asked the police to go with us so they could confirm that we were only fishing but they declined. I have to fish or I will lose a lot of money."
The seven men set off early Thursday after their first attempt on Wednesday ended with their vessel being escorted back to Hong Kong by marine police.
The disputed islands are claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan. They sit in an area rich in oil and fish.
The Hong Kong group backing China's claim to the islands said its aim was only to show that the Chinese had the right to fish in the disputed waters.