Senkaku Footage Leaked on to Internet: Shows Chinese Trawler Ramming Japanese Patrol Boat

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    The DPJ government’s efforts to appease Chinese anger by refusing to release the video footage of the Sept. 7 collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands have failed. Somebody has apparently gone behind their backs and leaked the videos to YouTube.

    Here are the two main clips. The first shows the ramming from the point of view of the Japanese patrol boat that was hit:

    The second shows the view from another Japanese ship:

    Longer clip from another collision (at around 2:00 into the video, you can see the Chinese trawler plow head-on into the side of the Japanese ship):

    There are a few longer clips on the user’s YouTube channel. The uploader’s user name is sengoku38, a name that was probably picked to send a big middle finger to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, the man responsible for the decision not to release the video to the public.

    bullshit from the Chinese media

    As you can see, the video does not show Japanese patrol boats ramming a Chinese ship. Instead, we can see the Chinese trawler turning into the side of the Japanese vessel. I think it would be safe to say that the Chinese state media’s “attacked by Japanese boats” version of the story (pictured above), was complete bullshit. The Chinese trawler looks to be the one doing the ramming.

    Here is what Japanese lawmakers had to say about the video:

    After watching an edited version of the Sept. 7 collisions near the Senkaku Islands, Toranosuke Katayama, a House of Councillors member of the Sunrise Party of Japan, said, “The Chinese boat, which I think should have fled the scene, intentionally came straight toward [the Japanese patrol boat]. It was very provocative.”

    While the lawmakers felt the Chinese trawler captain warranted arrest, most of them questioned why the government waited more than 50 days to release footage of the collisions that chilled diplomatic ties between Tokyo and Beijing–and why the video was shown only to a select group.

    Hiroshi Kawauchi, a lower house member of the Democratic Party of Japan, said the video should have been shown to the public.

    “One principle of democracy is to disclose information to the public. A delicate issue like this should have been widely discussed among people by airing [the video] to the public,” he said.

    The trawler captain is said to have taunted the Japan Coast Guard vessels that repeatedly ordered the ship to stop. One lawmaker, who watched the footage, said the captain made a universally recognized gesture using his hand in the direction of the JCG vessel. But another lawmaker said he did not clearly see such a gesture.

    The Justice Ministry and the Public Prosecutor’s Office said they had seriously considered Diet requests to release the footage. However, some other officials said showing the video was not helpful.

    Thanks to the YouTube leak, the video is now playing over and over again on Japanese TV news.

    Update: The original video clips were removed after the mysterious sengoku38 YouTube account was closed. However, mirror copies have been uploaded by other YouTube users. I’ll try to keep the post updated with video clips that work.

    For those of you without the time or ability to watch video clips, here are some screen captures:

    [hat tips to VGS & Aki]

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