TOKYO – A Chinese man was rescued by the Japan Coast Guard after a failed attempt to land a hot-air balloon on islands at the center of a bitter dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a Japanese official said Thursday.
The 35-year-old, identified as 35-year-old-chef Xu Shuaijun, took off from Fujian province on Wednesday morning, aiming to land on one of the Tokyo-controlled islands, known as the Senkakus in Japanese and Diaoyus in Chinese, the coastguard official said.
But he sent a rescue request when he got into trouble near the islands in the East China Sea hours later, the official said.
A Japanese rescue helicopter found the balloon 22 kilometers south of the islands and rescued the man, who was unhurt, the official said.
He was handed over to a Chinese patrol ship outside territorial waters.