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Japanese coast guard member admits to leaking collision video

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Japan-China collision captured on tape
  • Video shows boat collision that started a diplomatic row between China and Japan
  • It is unclear whether the coast guard member will be arrested
  • Boat collision occurred in the East China Sea near the disputed islands
  • China

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- A Japanese coast guard crew member has confessed to leaking a video of a boat collision that sparked a recent diplomatic battle between China and Japan, officials said Wednesday.

It was unclear whether the crew member would be arrested for putting the video online, police said.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows what is thought to be the Chinese fishing trawler ramming into a ship, thought to be a Japanese coast guard vessel.

The crash video had not been released to the public and Japanese lawmakers were alarmed that it had been on the video-sharing website.

"The fact that the video was leaked is a big mistake for the government," Hiroshi Kawauchi, a legislator of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said last week. "It is totally different from presenting it to the public in an official manner, and it leads the people's further erosion of faith in Japan's government."

The September incident sparked a diplomatic squabble between the two nations.

After the collision, Japan detained the crew of the Chinese fishing boat off the disputed islands in the East China Sea. China calls the islands the Diaoyu; Japan calls them the Senkaku.

In response to the detainments, China made increasingly aggressive diplomatic threats. Beijing also halted ministerial-level talks with Tokyo, and both sides canceled trips to each other's nations.

Japan has since released the fishing crew, which China says was stopped illegally. Japan initially accused the captain of obstructing Japanese public officers while they performed duties. But authorities later said that releasing him was in the interest of maintaining relations with China.

Though the leaking of the video has alarmed Japanese officials, officials in China have questioned its accuracy.

Some in the Chinese government dismissed the video saying it had been edited.

CNN's Kyung Lah contributed to this report.