According to this Sankei report, the Hong Kong activists threw bricks and bolts from their vessel at the Coast Guard vessels, causing some damage. However, the damage was slight and most of the damage to the Coast Guard vessels was caused by maneuvers intended to force the Hong Kong vessel to change course, so a senior Coast Guard official does not think that this constitutes the crime of “Obstructing or Compelling Performance of Public Duty” or “Damage to Property.”
I don’t know about that. If I were speeding in a car and I threw bricks and bolts at a police car that tried to force me to the side of the road, I’m pretty sure that I would be prosecuted for “Obstructing…Performance of Public Duty” even if all my missiles failed to hit the target. It’s hard not to think that the fix is in, and the LDP are of course bitching and moaning and saying that the Noda administration should have done a better job of repelling the intruders and will no doubt demand that the intruders be prosecuted with the full force of the law. So there will be some domestic fallout, but not nearly as serious as the 2010 incident, when the Kan administration threatened prosecution only to cave when China roared. But the Japanese possession and control over the Islands remains intact, and it is hard to see the Chinese authorities gaining anything from this incident other than giving its domestic constituency an opportunity to blow off some steam.