Japan to investigate leaked videos of boat collision

Friday, November 5, 2010

TOKYO - Japanese government officials said they were investigating Friday’s leaking of a video clip purporting to show the collision of a Chinese boat with Japanese coast guards which sparked a diplomatic row in September.

Authorities were investigating the authenticity of the clip, which was posted on the video sharing website Youtube and then shown on Japanese television, government spokesman Yoshito Sengoku said.

It was a serious incident, he said, adding that the government hoped that talks with China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later this month would not be affected.

Sep 7, a Chinese fisherman allegedly rammed two Japanese coast guard boats in waters off a disputed set of islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese, and Senkaku in Japanese.

He was detained by the Japanese authorities, sparking the most serious diplomatic row between the two countries for years, until Japanese prosecutors ordered his released several weeks later.

Tokyo’s investigation into the Youtube videos would also, if they are genuine, determine how they found their way into the public domain, the spokesman said. They were to be considered confidential as part of an ongoing investigation.

On Monday, members of parliament were shown an official six-minute video of the incident recorded by the coast guard, in a session closed to the public.

It was not clear whether the clip was the same as the one broadcast Friday, which appeared to show the Chinese fishing boat deliberately ramming Japanese coast guard boats.

Chinese authorities Thursday told the state-run Xinhua news agency that the video shown to to Japanese lawmakers had been edited, and did not change Beijing’s view that Japan acted illegally.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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