Diaoyu activists are auctioning off the supposed initial contract signed by kung fu hero Bruce Lee for the 1960s TV series The Green Hornet which propelled him to stardom.
The contract for a "test" for the character of Kato was donated by a US collector who supports the Diaoyu movement, said activist Tsang Kin-shing, who hopes it will raise HK$1.5 million for the campaign to assert China's sovereignty of the disputed islands.
Tsang said the contract, signed by Lee in 1965, was one of three original copies in existence and had been inspected and certified by Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee. It could go to auction as early as next month.
Some of the activists who landed on the islands last August after sailing from Hong Kong on the Kai Fung No2 are planning to embark on another voyage within the next few months. With the islands claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan, last year's trip escalated tensions between Beijing and Tokyo.
All 14 crew were arrested by the Japanese coastguard after five went ashore and raised the Chinese flag on one of the islands.
As Chinese state media warned that warships would be sent to the area and protests erupted outside Japanese embassies, they were released without being prosecuted.
Earlier this week, China strongly protested against "provocation" by Japanese ships in the waters of the Diaoyus. Activist Lo Hom-chau urged Beijing to make arrests to "exercise sovereignty".
On board the Kai Fung No2 at Shau Kei Wan yesterday, Lo said people of all political persuasions backed their cause "no matter if one is right or left".
Lee died in 1973 when the Diaoyus were again the subject of protests. But according to Lo, Lee never made any public statement about the islands.