In another chapter of the Diaoyu Islands aka Senkaku Islands dispute, a group of Hong Kong activists sailed to the Diaoyu Islands this past Wednesday August 15th. When they reached the islands, five of them swam ashore carrying Chinese flags to declare Chinese sovereignty over the islands that are under Japanese control. They were promptly arrested by Japanese authorities.
Japan Plans to Return the 14 Chinese Diaoyu Island Activists to China Tonight
The fate of 14 Diaoyu Island activist compatriots in Japan has affected the hearts of our countrymen. This reporter learned from the Foreign Ministry that yesterday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Deputy Minister Zhang Zhijun called Japanese Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Kenichiro Sasae and once again raised solemn protests and negotiations concerning Japan’s illegal detainment of Chinese citizens and ships, pressing the Japanese side to immediately and unconditionally release both persons and ships, and requesting the Japanese side He urged the Japanese side to ensure the safety, dignity, and basic rights of the Chinese activists.
On the same day, a workgroup from the Chinese embassy and consulate in Japan arrived on Okinawa to visit the arrested Chinese activists and discuss arrangements with the Japanese side. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the Representative Office in Tokyo also sent personnel to participate [in the negotiation].
This reporter learned that the government of Japan has basically confirmed the policy of “quick repatriation” for Chinese activists who try to land on the Diaoyu Islands. Japanese authorities say they will not “prosecute” Hong Kong Diaoyu Island activists, will transfer them to the Japanese immigration office, and the immigration office will “forcibly repatriate” the Diaoyu Island activists on the 17th.
Diaoyu Island activists deny breaking the law
Yesterday, the media released details on Japan’s illegal arrest of Chinese Diaoyu Island activists, wherein 5 of the activists shouted loudly when being arrested, “This is Chinese territory, this is not an illegal landing, we don’t need passports!”
9am on the 16th local Japan time, the 5 Diaoyu Island activists that had gone ashore and been arrested for “illegal entry” by Japanese police were taken by Japanese Coast Guard patrol ship to Okinawa prefecture’s Naha port. Afterward, the 5 were variously sent to the police departments of four cities in Okinawa for investigation. The other 9 Chinese individuals arrested by the Japanese Coast Guard were taken to Okinawa by other ships.
Additional, according to Hong Kong media reports, the 5 people were all placed in handcuffs, and while disembarking, one of them used Chinese to shout a slogan, “Japanese get out of the Diaoyu Islands!” Their physical and mental state are good, and the Japanese personnel on the ship provided food and water.
CY Leung Summoned the Japanese Consul General
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying [CY Leung] summoned Japanese Consul General in Hong Kong Yuji Kumamaru. CY Leung expressed that the Hong Kong government attaches extreme importance to this matter, reiterating to the Japanese government through the Consul General that the Diaoyu Island and its associated islands [aka Senkaku Islands] have been Chinese territory since ancient times, that Hong Kong residents have for many years had strong feelings about these islands, and doesn’t wish to see the Japanese government do anything that Hong Kong residents might see as provocations.
He demanded that the Japanese government not endanger the persons and property of Hong Kong residents and the other Chinese citizens, and urged the Japanese government to release all Hong Kong residents and the other Chinese citizens as soon as possible.
Protests in front of the Japanese Embassy in China
This reporter learned that yesterday morning, Diaoyu Island activists continuously arrived at the gates of the Japanese Embassy in China to protest the Japanese government’s arrest of Chinese Diaoyu Island activists. In front of the Japanese Embassy in China located in Beijing’s Chaoyang district, at 9:40, a middle-aged man wearing a red strip of cloth on his head and a yellow shirt holding a piece of paper with “Immediately unconditionally release Diaoyu Island activists” printed in red text appeared in front of the Japanese Embassy gates to protest. Around 9:50, another man holding a sign printed with “Strongly protest Japan illegally detaining our brave Diaoyu Island defenders” in large text arrived to protest. The two were one after another exhorted by police to leave.
Yesterday, multiple Hong Kong groups also went to petition the Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong. Phoenix TV also raised demands asking the Japanese side to immediately cease their interference with news reporting, to release their reports, and return all of their video and photographic material. Members of the Hong Kong Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands are current researching how to sue the Japanese police for illegal detention.
It was also learned that a Chinese Diaoyu Island activist organization in California of the United States held on the 15th a press conference making a statement paying their respects to the brave Hong Kong person who carried the five-starred red flag [PRC national flag] and successfully landed on Diaoyu Island to proclaim sovereignty, strongly protesting Japan’s infringement upon China territory and demanding the quick release of the activists.
Diaoyu Island activists to leave Japan this evening
According to information from the Japanese media, the Japanese government believes this instance of Chinese Diaoyu Island activists landing on Diaoyu Island is similar to the circumstances in 2004 and therefore have basically decided to handle the matter as Koizumi Junichiro’s cabinet had, which is to repatriate the 14 Chinese activists following the inquest/trial to avoid the situation worsening and affecting already strained Sino-Japanese relations. The news says the Japanese government plans to hand the 14 individuals to immigration authorities this afternoon, then process deportation procedures, expecting that they will depart Japan in the evening. As for whether a plane will be chartered or they will be passengers on a regular passenger plane, there is still no definite information.
Japanese public opinion vary
This reporter learned that Japanese netizen discussion of this subject is very heated, with many comments demanding the Japanese government adopt a tough stance, believing that Japanese domestic law should be used to deal with the Hong Kong Diaoyu Island activists, that they should not be “repatriated”. There were also netizens who asked that appropriate methods be used to resolve the problem, that force should not be resorted to, and that the situation should not be worsened. Additionally, the Japanese media interviewed representatives of the local Okinawa fishery association in their reporting. They believe mainland, Taiwan and Japanese fishermen all fishing near the Diaoyu Islands and their mutual provocations are not beneficial for resolving the issues, hoping that peace can be brought to these waters.
Morning Post Reporter: Han Na
Name list of the 14 Chinese Diaoyu Island activists:
Fang Xiaosong (35 years old, self-employed)
Tsang Kin-shing (56 years old, ex-assemblyman of the Hong Kong SAR)
Wu Xiyao (45 years old, president of labor union)
Lu Songchang (60 years old, teacher)
Gu Siyao (66 years old, social activist)
Name list released by the Okinawa Police (5 Diaoyu Island activists landing on the Diaoyu Island)
Liang Peijin (45 years old, TV cameraman)
Jiang Xiaofeng (40 years old, TV reporter)
Yang Kuang (45 years old, ship’s captain)
Zhang Jinman (64 years old, chief engineer)
Luo Kanjiu (62 years old, ship’s owner)
Wang Huamin (67 years old, sailor)
Guo Rongming (50 years old, sailor)
Zhang Weimin (30 years old, sailor)
Zhang Weimin (39 years old, sailor)
Comments From iFeng:
To be arrested on the territory of one’s own country by little Japan, and be repatriated “back”, does China still want its dignity?
With this I now believe that the Diaoyu Islands is indeed Japan’s!
Where were our Fishery Administration’s Haijian ships? Why were the Japanese allowed to arrested our people?
Where are all of China’s youth?
Diaoyu Island activists had handcuffs put on them, the Japanese won this round.
Defeat the Japanese aggressors! My respects to the Hong Kong Diaoyu Island activist heroes. 1.3 billion Chinese citizens stand behind you in support!!
This must not be left like this unresolved, compensation must be demanded of little Japan, and for their rough handling, they must apologize to our Diaoyu Island activist compatriots.
Arresting our people on our national territory, we’re able to bear even this kind of situation? Unbelievable!
Boycott Japanese goods!!! Chinese from all over the globe fight Japan!!!
Well done, Chinese of Hong Kong.