Tokyo: A Japanese coast guard officer said
he leaked a video to YouTube of collisions between a Chinese
fishing boat and Japanese patrol vessels because he wanted to
show the world what happened.
The September 7 incident and subsequent diplomatic
spat between Tokyo and Beijing has prompted nationalistic
protests in both countries and strained Japan-China ties.
The 43-year-old officer released a statement today
saying he is still convinced he was right to leak footage of
the collision that occurred near disputed islands in the East
China Seat though he says it may not have been acceptable as a
The Japanese government had confirmed the footage as
authentic although has not released any of its own to avoid
further inflaming tensions. A group of legislators saw an
edited version of it in a closed session.
Police have questioned the coast guard official, and
investigators are deciding whether to press charges. So far,
he has not been arrested.
The video, which captures scenes of the fishing boat
apparently ramming into the Japanese ships amid wailing sirens
and orders from the patrol boat to stop, popped up on YouTube
about 10 days ago. The footage was widely broadcast on
Last week, the officer acknowledged that he posted the
video from an Internet cafe in Kobe, in western Japan. His
name is being withheld because he has not been arrested or
"I just wanted as many people as possible to see the
events that are occurring in the Japanese seas so that each
person can think about it, make a judgement and take action,"
he said in a statement released by his lawyer. "I still
believe what I did was right, but I regret it was unacceptable
as a public servant."
The incident has dented ties between the major trading
partners. Beijing`s reaction to the collision was particularly
strident, demanding an apology and compensation. That stunned
Tokyo, which countered by demanding payment for damages to the
China also postponed talks on the joint development of
undersea natural gas fields and imposed a de facto ban on
exports to Japan of rare earth elements, essential for making