Japan says destroyer and Chinese boat collided; China says one hurt

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. MH-60S Sea Hawk flies by Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force ship JS Shimakaze above waters around Okinawa southwest of the Korean peninsula, October 9, 2017. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese destroyer and a Chinese fishing boat collided in the East China Sea on Monday night and no one was injured, Japan’s defense minister said, but China said a fisherman was hurt and suggested the Japanese vessel was to blame.

The collision occurred about 650 km (400 miles) 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 meter in length above the waterline of the destroyer, the Shimakaze, Kono said.

“No personnel were injured and no one from the Chinese fishing boat was missing. We are checking details,” Kono tweeted.

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”.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher and Huizhong Wu; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel