Japan has announced plans to arrest Japanese who dared to set foot on the Senkaku Islands, despite just having let go Chinese protesters who illegally entered Japanese territory in order to storm the islands themselves.
The Japan Coast Guard has announced police are investigating charging at least 9 Japanese citizens with criminal trespass after they landed on the Senkaku islands, part of Okinawa but also claimed by China as part of Taiwan, for the purpose of holding a “memorial service.”
The Japanese government currently leases the islands so as to forbid anyone going there, hence the trespass charges.
The group, including various minor politicians, had earlier joined another memorial service held at a nearby Okinawan city.
Any arrest of Japanese for trespassing on the isles would be particularly inflammatory in light of the fact the Chinese protesters who recently illegally landed on the island were not charged for either trespass or illegally entering the country, but were instead quietly packed off back to Hong Kong at the taxpayer’s expense.
In January a group of local Japanese councillors also landed on the islands without permission, although whether police will actually include them in their arrest itinerary is not clear.
The peculiarly Japanese territorial compromise currently in place on the Senkaku islands (in this case, the 3.82 km² Uotsuri-shima) sees them administratively part of Okinawa, but with the land belonging to a private owner, from whom the Japanese government is leasing them for a substantial sum for the sole purpose of forbidding its own citizens to set foot there, apparently all to avoid antagonising China.
Tokyo overlord Shintaro Ishihara has been endeavouring to overturn this status quo by buying the islands outright from their private owner, apparently with the intent of visiting or developing the islands so as to force the Japanese government to defend its claim when China inevitably protests the perverse notion of a non-Chinese island.
In China, demonstrations in support of the Chinese claim to the islands have already degenerated into riots with attacks on “Japanese” shops and property, and clashes with security forces.