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From NDTV.com

Japan chases Taiwanese ship off disputed islands

Japan's Coast Guard on Thursday chased away a group of Taiwanese nationalists as they tried to sail to Japanese-held islands also claimed by Taiwan, officials said.

The group was filmed before they left northern Taiwan's Keelong harbour, shouting at Taiwanese coast guard officials.

"I am not afraid to die, I am afraid of nothing," one of the group said before sailing.

The Japanese coast guard warned the ship through loud speakers and wireless communication as it entered a 12-nautical mile zone set just outside Japanese territorial waters off the islets - known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in Taiwan - officials said.

The Taiwanese protesters reportedly threw stones towards the Japanese patrol boats to protest, but turned around and sailed away from the waters about an hour later. Japanese coast guard officials were still patrolling the area.

Authorities in Japan said they had been informed that the Taiwanese were approaching the disputed islets also to protest Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit this week to a Tokyo war shrine that critics accuse of glorifying Japan's past militarism.

Japan colonised Taiwan for decades before 1945. Kyodo News agency quoted group member Wang Xilin as saying he also hoped to protest the repeated capture of Taiwanese fishing boats in the area by Japanese authorities.

The island chain is surrounded by rich fishing grounds and is regularly visited by nationalists from both sides, as well as China, which also claims the islands.

A Hong Kong Chinese demonstrator died in 1996 after jumping into the ocean when his attempt to land was blocked by Japanese boats.

Japan annexed the islands in 1895 when it colonised Taiwan. The United States controlled the islets after World War II and returned them to Japan in 1972.

Japan and its Asian neighbours are embroiled in a spate of disputes.


Rushie
 

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On the subject of the Japanese protecting their waters from invaders, we need to look at how ships requiring treatment for injured/ill seafarers are treated. It is almost impossible to land seafarers requiring emergency treatment in Japan without going to extraordinary lengths of reporting up to, and including, a request from the flag state.

One of our captains landed a seaman who'd lost a leg in an accident. As he was the only crewmember with any medical training he had his hands full keeping the seaman alive and navigating his ship into a Japanese port for which he did not have the charts. Although the Japanese did take the injured seaman ashore for medical treatment, the captain was arrested for not following the correct procedures.

Once upon a time, all foreign seafarers shipwrecked on Japanese shores were immediately executed as where Japanese seafarers who'd be shipwrecked on foreign shores and then repatriated (they were viewed as being contaminated). The Japanese have to learn that the way of the Samurai is over.
 
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