The Japanese town that administers the disputed rocks is more concerned with a competition to find the best player of the shamasan - a traditional stringed instrument - than the Diaoyu protests. The sleepy little tourist town has little interest in politics. Although Ishigaki City is the administrative centre for the Yaeyama chain which has a population of about 50,000 and lies 200 kilometres from the Diaoyus, it is much more concerned with the recently developed business of mail-order pineapples from local plantations posted to destinations all over Japan. Isolated for two days by the typhoon known as Typhoon 21, the biggest-selling local newspaper in Ishigaki City, the Yaeyma Mainichi Shinbun, concentrated on the competition to find the town's best shamasan strummer. The main story and front-page picture yesterday was given over to the shamasan competition which had attracted 120 entrants, while news that a Hong Kong protester was being treated in a local hospital after having been rescued from the sea got a mention on page seven. Yoshitaka Matsuda, the reporter from the Yaeyma Mainichi sent to cover Fong Yue-yuen's arrival and treatment at the hospital, said the dispute attracted little local attention despite the growing international interest. 'It is true that this is an important issue but we cannot get fired up about it. 'This is a problem between Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Beijing - not the Ishigaki people,' Matsuda explained. British and Chinese diplomats, as well as officials from the Hong Kong trade office in Tokyo and the Japanese foreign ministry, have visited Ishigaki City in the past few days where the only normal action is the movement of boats taking Japanese tourists to see the coral. But workers at the local sugar-cane plantation and those in the pineapple business appear totally uninterested in the international attention.