While the seasonally adjusted, BLS-estimated version of the China-Japan conflict says that things are normalizing, following the arrival of a Japanese envoy visiting Beijing to "soothe relations" which have been frayed since September and have led to a collapse in Japanese exports to China, the unadjusted reality is once again different, and the latest update comes from Reuters which informs that Japanese authorities have detained a Chinese boat for fishing in Japanese waters, China's Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, "even as the two countries moved to defuse tensions that flared last year over disputed islands." It is now China's turn to "de-escalate" by returning the favor in kind.
The boat, registered in Zhejiang province in eastern China, was found in waters near Goto, in Nagasaki prefecture in southern Japan, Xinhua said. The captain was being taken ashore following questioning.
In recent weeks Japanese military planes have scrambled numerous times against Chinese planes approaching airspace over the islands. Chinese planes have also shadowed Japanese planes elsewhere over the East China Sea.
The Chinese fishing fleet are ranging further and further offshore as fishing stocks near the Chinese mainland are depleted. Their presence in Japanese territory and in disputed waters is contributing to friction between the two Asian economic powerhouses, whose maritime borders are not defined.
In a similar case in late December, Japanese authorities stopped a fishing boat registered in the Chinese coastal province of Fujian, and detained its captain.
Naturally, any hopes that Japanese exports to China may soon normalize can also be thrown out of the window. At least on an reality-unadjusted basis. In other news, remember when Japan was a net exporter? Neither do we: