Coastguard picks up 35-year-old whose balloon crashed 20km from islands at the centre of dispute between Japan and China.
A Chinese cook who tried to fly a hot-air balloon to islands claimed by both China and Japan has been rescued by Japan’s coastguard after crashing into the sea.
Xu Shuaijun, 35, crashed on Wednesday after hitting turbulence as he approached the islands, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diayou, the coastguard said.
The coastguard received a missing-person report from Taiwanese officials, and a coastguard helicopter spotted Xu about 20km (12 miles) from the islands, it said.
He was picked up by a boat and later handed over to a Chinese patrol ship, according to the coastguard. His life was not in danger, although other details were not available.
The islands have been a sore point in bilateral relations for years, and nationalists from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have occasionally tried to sail to them.