It seems our favorite giant rubber duck is in deep trouble again! Following its deflating experience at Taoyuan, it has risen to the headlines again while visiting Keelung, the last stop of its Taiwan tour. This time around, not only was it put up to the trials of bad weather, a series of marketing and planning hiccups due to miscommunication with the art piece’s creator put the big yellow fellow through a whirlwind of media reports. But what exactly went wrong?
Alright, let’s recap.
Last Tuesday, a flotilla of Taiwanese fishing boats was rumored to have set off for the disputed Senkaku islands, located near the Japanese islands of Okinawa, seeking to assert their ownership among China and Japan.
At around 6 a.m. on Sept. 25, the 50-strong Taiwanese flotilla arrived in the disputed waters. At least eight patrol ships were sailing alongside the fishing vessels and many of the boats were displaying banners reading “We swear to defend the Senkaku islands!”
Japanese coastguard patrol boats moved in to intercept the tiny fleet and warned them to vacate the area. However, the Taiwanese boats maintained their position, asserting that they were in Taiwanese waters and their presence perfectly legitimate. Tensions were running high and it seemed only a matter of time before the conflict turned hostile.
And that’s when Japan decided to bring out the big guns.