About 200 Vietnamese people in Hiroshima and neighbouring localities in Japan on July 13 took to the street to protest China’s illegal placement of its drilling rig Haiyang Shiyou-981 in Vietnam’s waters.

They rallied from Peace Memorial Park through many thoroughfares in Hiroshima, raising Vietnam’s national flag and shouting slogans demanding China immediately pull the rig out of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone.

The protestors also denounced China’s violent behaviours of ramming Vietnam’s law enforcement ships and sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat, and requested Beijing to respect international law and Vietnam’s sovereignty.

During the peaceful demonstration, the Vietnamese community also called for Japanese and foreign friends’ support to Vietnam’s struggle.

At the beginning of May 2014, China illegally dispatched the rig as well as a large fleet of armed vessels, military ships and aircraft to Vietnam’s waters and positioned the rig at 15 degrees 29 minutes 58 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 12 minutes 06 seconds east longitude. The location is 80 miles deep into Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

Despite Vietnam’s protest, China expanded its scale of operation and moved the rig to 15 degrees 33 minutes 36 seconds north latitude and 111 degrees 34 minutes 11 seconds east longitude, 60 nautical miles deep inside Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone.

China’s armed vessels aggressively fired high-power water cannons at and intentionally rammed against Vietnamese public-service and civil ships, causing damage to many boats and injuring many people on board.

Chinese ships have continuously encircled, constrained and driven away Vietnamese fishing boats and even injured Vietnamese fishermen, threatening their lives.

On May 26, Chinese ship 11209 sank a Vietnamese fishing vessel while it was operating normally in its traditional fishing ground near Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.-VNA