Fund-raiser for Diaoyu trip nets just $4,000

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2001, 12:00am

Activists hoping to sail to the Diaoyu Islands again were dealt a blow yesterday when they received less than $4,000 in donations to buy a new boat.

Albert Ho Chun-yan, the deputy chairman of the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands, said the economic downturn made it difficult to raise money.

The committee started its fund-raising activities in the hope of making a fourth trip to the islands. It aims to raise $1.5 million, most of which would go towards buying a new vessel.

Another deputy chairman, Ko Wah, said he was not disappointed with the result. 'Fund-raising is also part of our campaign to remind the public about the issue of Diaoyu Islands,' Mr Ko said.

Mr Ho said he was confident they would be able to raise enough money eventually. 'All the money we receive will be saved in a fund. We will wait until the money accumulates to $1.5 million,' he said.

The activists had to abandon their last protest boat in 1998 when it sank off the islands - which are disputed by China, Taiwan and Japan - after being rammed by coastguard vessels.

The fund-raising follows anti-Japanese sentiment fuelled by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to a war memorial in Tokyo last week.