Takahashi, Asada arrived to China under the eye of security service

Daisuke Takahashi and Mao Asada under the protection of security service officers

By Vladislav Luchianov

Yesterday, the Japanese skaters arrived to the Pudong Airport in Shanghai. This weekend they will participate at the Grand Prix event Cup of China.

Due to the political divisions between Japan and China over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, the Japanese delegation is under the constant protection of security service officers.

At the Cup of China team Japan will be represented by Daisuke Takahashi, Tatsuki Machida and Mao Asada. After arriving at the airport they were taken under round the clock security. Skaters were advised not to leave their hotel without the need and not to take food outside the hotel’s restaurant, reports The Mainichi.

Last week, The Japan Skating Federation has decided to send its team to compete in Shanghai at the Cup of China despite the ongoing territorial dispute between China and Japan, and anti-Japanese sentiments in China. In turn, the Chinese side assured Tokyo that all athletes will be in complete safety.

According to Mao Asada, she does not feel uncomfortable because of increased security measures, although it is quite an unusual feeling, skater said The Mainichi. At the airport Japanese skaters were warmly welcomed by many fans.

Meanwhile, China continues patrolling in the South China Sea by its boats. According to Reuters, on Tuesday the Chinese patrol boats confronted Japanese vessels near disputed East China Sea islands in the latest in a series of encounters.

China has a different opinion. “The patrolling, carried by Chinese ships in the waters of the Diaoyu Islands, is a normal service activity.” said yesterday the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in the official statement.

The Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands in Mainland China, are a group of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan in the East China Sea. They are located roughly due east of Mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands.

Photo: Asahi Shimbun

WFS - An independent online sports magazine