A year after his arrest by the Japan Coast Guard for fishing in Japanese territorial waters, Chinese fishing captain and “Hero of the Chinese People” Tan Qi Xiong is stuck on land, unable to go to sea. A reporter from the Mainichi Japan went to visit him at his home on the Taiwan Strait.
Just after his return to China a year ago, he vowed to keep fishing around the Diaoyu Islands — the Chinese name for the Senkaku Islands. According to Mingpao and other news sources, however, the local government prohibited Tan from ever going back to sea. The government bought his trawler and found a job for him working on the pier for 3,000 yuan a month, or about 39,000 yen. Tan, who apparently made about 10,000 yuan before the incident, no longer has the wherewithal to travel outside Jinjiang, and he is always under the watchful and increasingly robust “protection” of the local authorities. (Link)
Tan is sticking to his story that he didn’t intentionally ram the Japanese ships.
According to a May article in the Mingpao News, a Hong Kong paper, Tan denies that he intended to ram the Japanese Coast Guard vessels on Sept. 7, 2010.
“I ran into the (JCG) ships because they changed course suddenly,” he was quoted as saying. Also, in complete contradiction to the JCG’s account of the incident, Tan also said the Japanese officers who boarded his fishing trawler struck him with a rod on the right shoulder and kicked him in the left leg. On this day, however, as he stands silently by the two government officials, Tan appears deeply frustrated at being forbidden to speak freely.
At this point, it appears clear that Tan is not, as Gordon Chang hinted at, secretly a captain in the PLAN. It also appears clear that China is not interested in Tan — or any of his fellow fishermen — conducting a repeat of the incident. Other Chinese fishermen have reported that the government has warned them to stay out of the area.
A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch