There is another twist in the dispute over the ownership of the Diaoyu—or as they are known in Japan, Senkaku—Islands group in the East China Sea. Ten or so Japanese nationalists swam ashore one of the islands and planted a flag saying "Japanese Territory." The video of the action was released by nationalist-leaning Japanese internet video network, Sakura on Monday.
The Japanese government was less than pleased according to a top government spokesman.
[Osamu Fujimura, Government Spokesman]:
"There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are Japan's territory based on historic truth and the international laws, and Japan is currently governing the islands; thus no territorial dispute exists from the start. The landing by activists is regretful as the government is maintaining the principle of not allowing any landings by people other than government officials."
Their action incited a vigorous reaction in China, where mass protests have taken place.
Tensions in the East China Sea have risen before. In 2010, Japan arrested a Chinese captain whose fishing trawler collided with a Japanese patrol boat near the uninhabited isles.