Japan, Taiwan fire water cannon near disputed islands
TOKYO (AFP) - Coastguard vessels from Japan and Taiwan duelled with water cannon on Tuesday after dozens of Taiwanese boats escorted by patrol ships sailed into waters around Tokyo-controlled islands.
Japanese coastguard ships sprayed water at the fishing vessels, footage on national broadcaster NHK showed, with the Taiwanese patrol boats retaliating by directing their own high-pressure hoses at the Japanese ships.
The large-scale breach of what Japan considers sovereign territory is the latest escalation in a row over ownership of the islands that pits Tokyo against Beijing and Taipei.
The intrusion complicates the already volatile territorial dispute with China. Taiwan has said that officers aboard some of the patrol ships sent to the area are fully-armed elite coastguard personnel.