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Chinese man rescued after attempt to land on disputed islands

Published on Jan 2, 2014 11:34 AM
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A hot-air balloon which was carrying a Chinese man lands on the water, south of the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea, on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014. The man was rescued by the Japan Coast Guard after a failed attempt to land a hot-air balloon on the islands, a Japanese official said on Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP / JAPAN COAST GUARD

TOKYO (AFP) - A Chinese man was rescued by the Japan Coast Guard after a failed attempt to land a hot-air balloon on islands at the centre of a bitter dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a Japanese official said on Thursday.

The 35-year-old took off from Fujian province on Wednesday morning, aiming to land on one of the Tokyo-controlled islands, known as the Senkakus in Japanese and Diaoyus in Chinese, the coastguard official said.

But he sent a rescue request when he got into trouble near the islands in the East China Sea hours later, the official said.

A Japanese rescue helicopter found the balloon 22 kilometres south of the islands and rescued the man, who was unhurt, the official said. He was handed over to a Chinese patrol ship outside territorial waters.

 
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