Japan Starts High Seas Squirt-Gun Fight With Taiwan, Pushes Fishing Boat Flotilla Out of Contested Waters

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.

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