Chinese media sharply criticized the Japanese press for what they called the “continuous building up” of a story about a Chinese scientific research vessel sighted just off the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, which the Japanese call the Senkaku Islands. [Chinese coverage also appeared on BBC’s Chinese-language site]. A second Chinese report today, featured on most major Web portals, also criticized Japanese media for “blowing up” (炒作) a story about alleged Chinese theft of Japanese submarine technology. [BELOW: Screen capture from Southcn.com, of Guangdong province, criticizing Japanese media].
The first report of the sighting of the Chinese research vessel appeared in Japan’s Mainichi Shinbun on February 4 and was featured on Yahoo! Japan News. According to that report Japanese coast guard from the city of Naha had discovered the Chinese vessel in the area, but no specific source for the information was cited. However, subsequent news reports from Mainichi Shinbun, Sankei and Yomiuri quoted sources in Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Japanese media also referred to statements made by Japan’s cabinet chief and prime minister.
A news release today from China’s official Xinhua News Agency quoted a spokesman from China’s Foreign Affairs Office as saying China had already expressed its dissatisfaction with “the building up of this affair by the Japanese side”. The spokesman said the Chinese boat was carrying out “normal scientific research” in the area.
The territorial dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands has long been a thorn in the side of Sino-Japanese relations.
[Posted by Brian Chan, February 7, 2007, 4:36pm]