Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been sighted piloting a Chinese boat near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
A photograph taken by the Chinese military leaked online appears to show Abe wearing traditional Chinese clothing whilst riding a coast guard vessel bearing a Chinese flag.
The government is publicly denying the claims insisting that the man in the photo is not the Prime Minister.
“We’ve made a terrible mistake in trying to conjure up nationalistic sentiment – we should have told Abe to stay inside the boat,” a government insider said on condition of anonymity.
Reports are indicating Abe sailed around the Senkaku Islands once before eating a couple of onigiri for lunch on the front deck.
“Again, why eat lunch outside the boat – these are things we needed to confirm with the Prime Minister before sending him out on his own.”
Image: Jim Smith