The aerial footage of the moment 14 activists were caught on the island of Diaoyutai and removed by the Japanese Coastguard. It’s the first time non-Japanese nationals have landed on the disputed islands since 2004 and Japan now looks set to deport these protesters - who were from China, Hong Kong and Macau - who took the daring step to sail out to the island earlier this week. They’re all now in custody while their fate is decided and the spat between Japan and China over its ownership continues.
Japan calls the islets, which are between Taiwan and Okinawa, as the Senkaku Islands, China calls them the Diaoyu Islands. They’ve been a source of tensions because they hold value for both countries because of the potentially rich gas and oil deposits there and their healthy fishing waters. China has maintained that it has ‘ indisputable sovereignty’ over the islands and has urged the safe release of all 14 people.
Angry protests outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing have no doubt pressured officials for a swift and diplomatic resolution to the issue. The US has urged both countries to set aside their differences and says it won’t intervene.