A video apparently showing a Chinese fishing vessel ramming Japanese patrol boats in the South China Sea was leaked. It has re-ignited simmering diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
The video was filmed from one of the patrol boats. Sirens wail as the Japanese boat orders the fishing boat to stop, with a loudspeaker yelling in Mandarin “what are you doing!?” The fishing boat swerves toward the patrol boat and collides.
The video sheds light on the September incident near the Diaoyu or Senkaku disputed islands, where the Japanese patrol arrested and detained the Chinese skipper.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan was heavily criticized at home for releasing the skipper and for appearing to cave in to pressure from the Chinese regime. The video apparently showing the skipper was at fault could harden Japanese public opinion.
Large-scale protests were held across both countries. Both claim the other was trespassing. The Chinese regime then halted exports of rare earth metals to Japan.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao threatened to retaliate, and Chinese authorities arrested three Japanese engineers for allegedly filming military equipment.
Propaganda organs of the Chinese regime still blame Japan for the collision and said the video made no difference to Japan’s so-called unlawful actions.
The Japanese Prime Minister has called for calm as Japan looks into the source of the leak.