Internet video captures Chinese trawler collision

By Bao Daozu (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-09 07:52
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BEIJING - Japanese officials launched a criminal probe on Monday into the leak of a video on the Internet showing the recent maritime incident that sparked a row with China.

The video, which shows how a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese coast guard vessels near China's Diaoyu Islands in early September, was not released to the public for fear of inflaming the already bitter dispute with China, but it was uploaded onto YouTube on Friday.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan apologized in parliament that the government had been "sloppy" in keeping the video secure. But he also confirmed its authenticity.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday that the video cannot conceal Japan's unlawful actions.

"I would like to reiterate that the Japanese patrol boats had disturbed, driven away, intercepted (and) surrounded the Chinese fishing boat, which led to the collision," spokesman Hong Lei said.

Their action was illegal in itself, he said when asked to comment on the release and distribution of the collision video on the Internet, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

Earlier on Nov 2, Tokyo showed some 30 lawmakers from the budget committees of the lower and upper houses a six-minute and 50-second segment taken from the original 44-minute video taped by the Japanese coastguard during the incident in the East China Sea.

Wang Shaopu, a Shanghai-based scholar with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences said in a recent interview that, although the leak of the video cannot change the fact of Japan's illegal actions, the so-called evidence would do no good to repairing the relations.

Moreover, it can only arouse anti-China feelings of some Japanese people, he said.

The collision in September has sent relations between the two countries plunging to their lowest point in years, triggering escalating diplomatic friction.

China said on Monday there were currently no plans for a fence-mending meeting between President Hu Jintao and his Japanese counterpart Kan, who will attend the G20 and APEC summits later this week.

Ma Liyao and AFP contributed to this story.

China Daily