As for Tetsuo Kotani's June 2 commentary "China steps up its offensive against the Senkaku Islands," Kotani intimates that the fishing boat was not actually engaged in fishing but probably trying to bait Chinese ships to take it.

The Senkaku waters used to be Okinawa fishermen's most favored fishing grounds, but they don't go there anymore for fear of being drawn into trouble. So this fishing boat must have been something very special with some reporters on board.

But why, for starters, did the Chinese coast guard ships act as they did? If the Senkakus are China's sovereign territory in all respects, they have every right to order Japanese fishing boats to leave the area. But this claim of China's to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands is very disputable, subject to close scrutiny and investigation.

Simply claiming the islands are part of "our" territory and resorting to force won't resolve the problem at all. It will only exacerbate the bilateral relations, causing mutual mistrust, enmity and eventually the most abominable consequence — an armed confrontation.

Yoshio Shimoji

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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