Two Chinese Fishing Boats Head to Diaoyu Islands

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Tensions between China and Japan mounted again when two Chinese patrol boats sailed near the disputed Diaoyu, or Senkaku, Islands this week. The boats were seen near the islands on Oct. 3 and 4, but the Japanese government reports that they had disappeared from view by the morning of Oct. 6. According to the Sing Tao Daily, the Japanese coast guard kept a close eye on the two boats, and became concerned when one of the boats loaded a smaller boat out to sea. Concerned that the Chinese would board the islands from the small boat, Japan’s coast guard sent four patrol vessels and one patrol plane after the boats. Through wireless communications, the Japanese asked the boat's captains what their purpose was in sailing near the islands. The Chinese ignored Japan’s warnings and sailed around on the small boat for a short time before returning to the patrol boat.

Last month, a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Japanese coast guard boat near the disputed islands, and Japan detained the Chinese captain. The incident set off tensions between the two countries, which have both declared sovereign rights to the islands. Chinese communities in China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries overseas have held rallies over the last month, declaring their rights to the islands. Seventeen days after the collision, on Sept. 25, the Chinese captain was released.