Majority of Japanese say govt should release China video

A video shows collisions between Chinese trawler, Japan`s coastguard vessels.

Updated: Nov 14, 2010, 14:19 PM IST

Tokyo: Nearly 90 percent of Japanese believe the government should officially release the video of the ship collisions that sparked the worst Japan-China row in years, according to a news agency poll.

A survey of 1,000 people by Kyodo News found 88.4 percent of them think the government should release the video against 7.8 percent who said there was no need for the official disclosure, the news agency said late yesterday.

The poll was taken on Friday and yesterday after a coastguard who said he leaked the footage on the video sharing site YouTube was questioned by police.

Police have interviewed him since he admitted on Wednesday to leaking the video showing the high-seas collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese coastguard vessels near disputed islands called Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

The coastguard has defended his actions, saying people have a right to see the video, according to an earlier report by the Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, which interviewed him before he confessed the leak to his boss.

Investigators are trying to establish evidence that he broke the national public service act, which requires government employees to keep confidential information they obtain through their work.

The Kyodo survey found 81.1 percent of respondents did not think the video was confidential government material, against 13.2 percent who said it was.

The video, previously seen only by top government leaders and lawmakers, has spread on YouTube, showing the trawler colliding with two Japanese coastguard vessels in the East China Sea in early September.

The government has not officially released the video to public, which could inflame the already bitter feud with China.

Japan`s arrest of the Chinese trawler captain sparked a barrage of protests from Beijing that continued after Japan released him, sending diplomatic relations plunging to their lowest point in years.

PTI