Japanese nationalists sail close to islands in dispute with China
EAST CHINA SEA (REUTERS) - Five boats carrying about 20 members of a Japanese nationalist group arrived on Sunday in waters near tiny islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a dispute between Japan and China, a move that risks escalating tensions between the two nations.
Members of the Ganbare Nippon ("Stand Firm, Japan") group said they did not plan to land on the uninhabited islands, which are known as the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, but wanted to send a message to China.
"We want to show these islands are under Japanese control,"Satoru Mizushima, the right-wing film maker who leads Ganbare Nippon, told activists before departure late on Saturday from a port in Okinawa.
"We won't be doing anything extreme but we need to show the Chinese what we're made of." The islands are located near rich fishing grounds and potentially large oil and gas reserves.