China’s reaction to the release of video showing its fishing ship ramming two Japanese coast guard vessels is to blame the incident on Japan, saying it was their actions which were illegal.
The Chinese foreign ministry press conference held in response to the leak laid the blame firmly on Japan:
“The reason the collision occurred was because Japan was interfering with and attempting to block the passage of a Chinese fishing vessel in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands, which are Chinese territory. Japan’s actions themselves were illegal.”
Chinese public opinion is even less accommodating:
“Japan should be crushed”
“The Diaoyu Islands are Chinese territory so it doesn’t matter who rammed them, it’s Japan’s fault for going there and ramming them”
“Technology is so advanced nowadays, it’s probably a fake”
In Japan public opinion is inflamed, despite the efforts of politicians and media to deflect attention away from the video’s content by trying to pretend the issue is that the video was leaked at all, not what it shows.
Surveys have already revealed the vast majority of the public wanted the government to release the video, and that a similar proportion approve of the leak.
The more paranoid elements of the ruling party have gone so far as to call it an “act of terrorism aimed at overthrowing the government.” Others in the party ludicrously blamed the leak on North Korea, saying they may have intercepted satellite communications.
Authorities have vowed to track down and arrest the elusive “sengoku38” whistleblower, though his current identity and how and when he came into possession of the video are completely unknown.
This creates the surreal possibility that the Japanese government will hunt down and imprison one of its own citizens for releasing a video of the incident, after having already released the captain of the ship which rammed two coast guard vessels without charge, flying him home to China in a chartered jet to a hero’s welcome.