TOKYO: A Japanese destroyer and a Chinese fishing boat collided in the East China Sea on Monday (Mar 30) night and no one was injured, Japan's defence minister said, but China said a fisherman was hurt and suggested the Japanese vessel was to blame.
The collision occurred about 650km west of the Japanese island of Yakushima, Defence Minister Taro Kono said on Twitter on Tuesday.
The crash opened a hole of more than a metre in length above the waterline of the destroyer Shimakaze from Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force, Kono said.
Both the naval ship and the fishing boat, with a crew of 13, were still able to sail under their own power, Japan's military said, according to Kyodo.
It said the Shimakaze was on patrol after departing from the port of Sasebo on Sunday.
The defence ministry said it would cooperate with a Japanese coast guard investigation as well as launch a probe within the navy, Kyodo reported.
China confirmed the incident saying it was under investigation and a Chinese fisherman was hurt.
"China has expressed concern to Japan on Japan's naval vessels being active in that area, and impacting safe navigation of China's ships, in China's coastal waters," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
She called for Japan's cooperation in "preventing an incident like this from happening again".
According to public broadcaster NHK, the incident occurred about 650km west of Japan's Yakushima Island.
This area is well north of disputed islands that Tokyo calls the Senkaku and Beijing labels the Diaoyu islands.