Claim: According to a Japanese Coast Guard report, Japan sank hundreds of Chinese vessels in the East China Sea. The video implied that the Japanese Destroyer Shimakaze recently collided with a Chinese fishing vessel, prompting retaliation.
The Facebook video spreading the claim is titled: “Terrible Attack! Japanese Navy Sinks Hundreds Chinese Fishing Vessel in East China Sea.”
Why we fact-checked this: The video has garnered more than 345,000 views, 7,300 reactions, and 700 comments as of writing.
No reports of sinking from Japan’s Coast Guard: The video’s title refers to an event that did not occur. There have been no reports from the Japanese Coast Guard on the sinking of Chinese fishing vessels in retaliation for the damage to the JS Shimakaze.
The collision occurred three years ago: The video also implied that a collision between JS Shimakaze and a Chinese vessel occurred on March 6, 2023. The actual collision occurred almost three years ago, on March 30, 2020.
Plagiarized narration: The narration for the video was provided by an automated text reader fed with an article on the incident published by The Diplomat.
Tensions in the contested waters of East and Southeast Asia have continued to flare up as China moves to strengthen its Coast Guard and improve its military capabilities. Last January 31, The Chinese and Japanese Coast Guard engaged in a brief but intense confrontation near the contested Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea.
Instead of sinking Chinese fishing vessels, the Japanese Coast Guard merely warned the Chinese vessels to move away from the islands. – Enzo De Borja/Rappler.com
Enzo De Borja is a 4th year Political Science Major at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, volunteering under Rappler’s Research unit.
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