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Nov 6, 2010

Japan still to blame: China

A still image taken from the video anonymously posted on YouTube. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - CHINA has again put the blame on Japan for a maritime incident two months ago that sparked the worst row between the Asian powers in years, after the leak of a video apparently showing the collision.

The Japanese coastguard arrested a Chinese trawler captain in early September for allegedly ramming two of its patrol boats near a disputed island chain in the East China Sea, sparking a barrage of protests from Beijing.

The incident was sensitive because both sides claim the potentially resource-rich islets, known as the Diaoyus in China and Senkakus in Japan, along with the nearby seas where the incidents took place.

'I would like to reiterate that the Japanese side had disturbed, driven away, intercepted and surrounded the Chinese fishing boat, which led to the collision,' foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.

'The behaviour of the Japanese side was illegal,' Mr Hong said, when asked to comment on the leaked video. 'The so-called video cannot change the fact and cannot conceal the unlawfulness of the Japanese action,' the spokesman added.

Early on Friday, 44 minutes of footage purporting to show the incident were posted on the YouTube video-sharing website, sending officials in Tokyo scrambling to contain the damage, a week before Japan hosts an Asia-Pacific summit. -- AFP


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