Japanese coast guard member admits to leaking video of collision at sea

By Chico Harlan 

TOKYO – Japan thinks it has solved the mystery of Sengoku38, the YouTube poster who last week became a hero the curious and a target for local prosecutors.

A member of the Japanese coast guard confessed Wednesday to leaking the now widely viewed footage of a collision at sea involving a Chinese trawler and two Japanese patrol vessels. The collision occurred in disputed waters Sept. 7, setting off a spat between the Asian neighbors. Before Friday, though, only a tight circle of Japanese lawmakers and prosecutors had seen video of the incident.

From an Internet cafe in Kobe, Sengoku38 changed that.

In the process, according to Japanese officials, the anonymous poster violated a confidentiality law. Sengoku38 also embarrassed Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s government just days before it faces the world – including China – at this week’s G-20 meeting of world leaders in Seoul and an APEC summit in Yokohama this weekend.

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