Japan ‘to set up police unit’ for disputed islands

A Japan Coast Guard vessel sails in front of one of the disputed islands in the East China Sea. (Reuters)
Updated 02 September 2019

Japan ‘to set up police unit’ for disputed islands

  • NHK said it was the first time police had stepped up patrols near the disputed islands
  • Relations between Japan and China deteriorated in 2012 when Tokyo “nationalized” some of the islets

Tokyo: Japan will launch a special police unit equipped with submachine guns and helicopters to patrol disputed isles in the East China Sea — a source of tension between Tokyo and Beijing, according to police and media.

The deployment near the tiny islands known as the “Senkakus” in Japanese and the “Diaoyu” in Chinese could take place early next year, public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday. The National Police Agency said it had put in a budget request for an additional 159 officers to head off “ilegal landings on remote islands by armed groups.” NHK said it was the first time police had stepped up patrols near the disputed islands.

However, extra jets from the Japan Coast Guard were deployed in 2018 to patrol the islands, where a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine was spotted earlier last year. The uninhabited islets are at the center of a festering row between Tokyo and Beijing, which is also involved in a widening dispute with several Southeast Asian countries over islands in the South China Sea.

The Japanese government has long complained about China’s routine dispatch of coast guard ships to waters surrounding the islands. Relations between Japan and China deteriorated in 2012 when Tokyo “nationalized” some of the islets.


London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

Updated 22 February 2020

London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

  • Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday
  • Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday

LONDON: London police on Saturday charged a 29-year-old homeless man with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an illegal knife he used to stab a mosque leader during prayers.
Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday.
London police quickly ruled out a terror motive.
Maglad was treated at a London hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday’s evening service with his arm wrapped in a sling,
“I forgive him. I feel very sorry for him,” Maglad told reporters on Friday.
“To me, as a Muslim, I don’t need to put any hatred in my heart.”
Several regulars at the Regent’s Park area mosque in northwest London said they had seen Horton attend a few services in the past year.
Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday.