News / Asia

Japan, Taiwan Trade Water Cannon Fire Near Disputed Islands

A Japanese Coast Guard patrol ship (C) sprays water at a fishing boat from Taiwan, as Taiwan's Coast Guard vessel (top) sprays water near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, September 25, 2012.
A Japanese Coast Guard patrol ship (C) sprays water at a fishing boat from Taiwan, as Taiwan's Coast Guard vessel (top) sprays water near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, September 25, 2012.
Shannon Sant
Japan’s deputy foreign minister is in Beijing for consultations with China about a group of hotly contested islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku by the Japanese. 

As the meetings took place and officials made an effort to ease tensions, the Japanese coast guard fired water cannons at a group of Taiwanese fishing boats, the latest confrontation on the islands. 
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei decribed the discussions between Vice Foreign Ministers Chikao Kawai and Zhang Zhijun as frank and in depth.
According to Hong, during the meeting, Zhang Zhijun asserted that the Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands have been China’s sacred territory since ancient times and that there is ample historical and legal evidence of that.  He said with regard to China’s repeated representations on this, Japan has turned a blind eye to these historical facts and international law.  He warned Japan to "correct its mistakes with concrete actions."
Earlier, Japan fired water cannons on 40 fishing boats and eight coast guard vessels from Taiwan.  Japan’s Defense Minister said managing ship incursions into the waters is a top priority for his country.
Japan has to think of how to deal with the ships arriving from China and Taiwan to the islands, he said, and how to keep Sino-Japanese relations stable.
When asked about the Taiwan boats, Hong said Chinese fishermen have the right to work in the contested waters, adding that the Chinese government is resolute and firm in defending its territorial sovereignty.
The Japanese Coast Guard says the Taiwan fishing vessels have left the disputed waters.

Fishing rights in the waters have long been a source of friction between Japan and Taiwan.  Tensions between Japan and China also rose after Japan bought the disputed islands, a source for potential energy resources, from a private owner.  The move prompted protests in many Chinese cities.
According to China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, China’s presumptive next president, Xi Jinping, has urged Japan to stop what he called its “wrong behaviors.” 

Although few authorities expect the dispute to escalate to military confrontation, China sent its first aircraft carrier into service Tuesday, in a move the ministry of defense says will increase the operational strength of the Chinese navy.

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Comment Sorting
by: getty151 from: USA
October 02, 2012 9:44 AM
Chinese are barbaric, underdeveloped and uncivilized ppl who vandalize and root Japanese shops/factories.

They haven't changed since the Boxers era.

by: CK from: Vietnam
September 27, 2012 11:17 PM
In Response

by: Double Standards
September 28, 2012 4:02 PM
You should have said that to the Chinese who have been grabbing lands and islands from Vietnam.How could Mr Yang JieChi go to the UN General Assembly and said something like:"the Japanese purchase "grossly violated" Chinese sovereignty, it cannot change the "historical fact that Japan stole" the islands from China".China has been well known for distorting history and disrepecting facts to substantiate their unjust and unreasonable territorial claims.China refused and sanctioned the Philippines and Vietnam's requests to bring their territorial disputes to the International courts because they know they have no case.They brought the Sino-Japanese dispute forward this time because they think,by linking the Senkaku to Taiwan they might have a case.How could China have shamelessly accused another country of stealing and sovereignty violation when they themselves have been stealing lands and islands from their neighbours without any regards for international laws since 1949?China is just a Crying Thief. Japan should stand your grounds.

by: nest from: Japan
September 27, 2012 9:32 AM
We Japanese are disappointed by Taiwanese ppl's attitudes.
Now we consider allowing China annexes Taiwan on condition of giving up Senkaku to Japan.
In Response

by: Sing from: USA
September 27, 2012 1:25 PM
Sino-Japanese will be the end game of this disputes! Japan may win some battles but eventually it will trigger a nuclear annihilations. Becareful what you wish for? Just because with US backing Japan dare to initiate the conflict of the disputed islands. Will see how the boycott of the Japanese goods in China will widdle down Japan's economy.

by: du from: france
September 26, 2012 8:23 AM
i just can't understand why US knock the door of all of the world !
you are powerful in politic , economic, no problem, but just let others countries quiet!

a real powerful country should learn how to respect others countries

when i first learn english , VOA is the only pure source for me to open a new window, help me learn american people, culture, history, i am sure some of things 'american is good, like the ones in others countries, but i can also assure another thing: that is the american politic towards others countries is very ugly!

by: Anonymous from: HanTac
September 26, 2012 4:36 AM
Taiwan was a Dutch colony.It was first taken by a Ming general and was later conquered by the Manchus in 1683.The Manchus signed Taiwan over to Japan in 1895 and became part of Japan till 1945.I don't see why Taiwan was given to the Chinese when it originally was Dutch territory.Keep off Japanese waters!

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
September 25, 2012 10:22 PM
another proof that Diaoyu island doesnt belong to Japan.
Why democratic Hong Kong and Taiwan also claim Diaoyu island and south China sea? Because they do belong to China!
China need to build more Aircraft carriers to protect our sea territories.
In Response

by: Charlie from: UK
September 27, 2012 4:56 AM
Just because some Chinese nationalists congregated around the Senkaku causing a nuisance,that didn't mean the Senkaku is Chinese territory.This is an ugly form of aggression.By flooding other countries' territorial waters,the Chinese on one hand want the world to think those areas are under Chinese jurisdiction,on the other hand they hope those countries can not keep their composure,lose their heads because of the provocation,overreact militarily,and China would seize that as an opportunity to counterattack and seize those islands as they have done so in the past.Another war wouldn't do anybody any good.

By deploying Aircraft Carrier to intimidate your neighbours into capitulation,is wishful thinking.No country is going to sit back and let the Chinese walk all over them.Chinese expats like you might be the first ones to suffer from the repercussions,so don't get so excited just yet.

by: Peter from: DC
September 25, 2012 8:32 AM
Taiwan would better join China to protest Japan's nationalization of the islands. It is very hard to imagine that Japan can take account of Taiwanese "patriotic actions."

by: Anonymous
September 25, 2012 7:16 AM
The article should read HOT WATER. Which is about the extent of Japan's military muscle.

by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
September 25, 2012 6:58 AM
chinese people are taking the law into their own hands,it doesnt matter who they may be,coast guards or jobless protesters.

by: Planet Earth from: Planet Earth
September 25, 2012 6:06 AM
Obviously, not very accurate with water canons water is spraying in the opposite direction

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