About 300 Japanese police may be sent to the Diaoyu Islands to stop foreigners landing, a Tokyo newspaper said yesterday. The Asahi Shimbun said Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto had ordered the Tokyo and Okinawan police to draw up contingency plans. A Taiwanese newspaper, the China Times Express, quoted the article, but portrayed the invasion force as prepared and on the alert. The Asahi said the plan had been on the table since July. The death of Hong Kong activist David Chan Yuk-cheung had done nothing to weaken the authorities' resolve. It did not say why it had not been implemented, although analysts said the Government would be worried about Taiwanese and Chinese reaction. The article, an analysis by government correspondent Junichi Saito and colleagues in Beijing and Hong Kong, did not quote specific sources. Saito speculated it would help the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lead coalition in this month's general elections. In Hong Kong, legislator Tsang Kin-shing, who will lead a 70-strong protest mission to Diaoyu on Monday, said his group would ignore the Japanese threats. 'We shall not use force or be confrontational. But it would be a shame for China if it did not send the Navy to protect Chinese people in Chinese waters,' he said. Leung Kwok-hung, 39, a member of the radical April 5th action group who has joined Mr Tsang, said he would pour red paint on the Japanese should they be intercepted. Mr Tsang's Democratic Party colleagues petitioned the consulates of the United States and France and Xinhua (the New China News Agency) yesterday, urging them to reject Japan's application for membership on the United Nations Security Council. Taiwanese negotiators left for Japan yesterday to discuss fishing rights and other issues arising from the dispute. A seven-member negotiating team from the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry and Council of Agriculture was to begin talks with Japanese counterparts in Tokyo today. 'The trip is to attend a second round of meetings on fishing rights with Japan,' negotiator Lo Kun-tsan said. 'But I cannot reveal our bottom line at this moment.'