News services are reporting that the whole Diaoyutai mess is now blowing over. Taiwan News reports that the Taiwan Coast Guard is using this to ask for a bigger budget and more ships.

The CGA currently has 14 vessels of more than 500 tons and 152 ships smaller than 500 tons - lagging well behind the Japanese authorities’ scale, the officials said.

Japan’s marine defense authorities have a total of 79 boats weighing over 500 tons, 380 patrol vessels of less than 500 tons and 73 aircraft, while its agriculture and fisheries authorities have 31 ships above 500 tons and four planes, according to the officials.

During the 2005-2007 period, Japan posted marked increases in budgets for constructing vessels, with the figure jumping to the equivalent of more than NT$13 billion in 2007, up from NT$4.13 billion in 2005, the officials went on.

The country’s need to build more vessels to protect Taiwanese fishing boats operating on the high seas has become more urgent after a sport fishing boat from Taipei County, the Lien Ho, collided last Tuesday with a Japanese coast patrol frigate in disputed Japan-controlled waters near the Tiaoyutai islands.

I heard that the Chinese-language news claimed that the boat had been involved in provocations in the Diaoyutais before, but I could not find any news stories on it prior to this event.