Fourth in a series

In January, Hitoshi Nakama, a member of the municipal assembly of Ishigaki, Okinawa, and three others landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The four spent a couple of hours examining the uninhabited islet, which, like the rest of the Senkakus is technically under Ishigaki's jurisdiction but claimed by China and Taiwan, before returning home to an expected confrontation with the Japan Coast Guard.

And like the 14 other times he visited the islets, Nakama was grilled for hours by the authorities — because despite Japan's claim that the islands are its territory and are effectively under its control, the government prohibits anyone, including Japanese, from setting foot on them.