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Taiwan-Japan fishing committee to talk disputed isles: envoy

Publication Date : 03-05-2013


Taiwan and Japan will continue their talks on issues that are not addressed in a recently signed fishery agreement, which include fishing rights in waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, the nation's top envoy to Tokyo said yesterday.

“A special committee now serves as a platform for both sides to negotiate remaining issues including fishing rights within 12 miles of the waters surrounding the Diaoyutais,” Taiwan's representative to Japan Shen Ssu-tsun said yesterday in Taipei.

Shen made the comments when asked by lawmakers to comment on the issue at a hearing in the Legislature's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, yesterday.

Shen's remarks came after Taiwan and Japan signed a historic fishing pact on April 10 on fishing rights in their overlapping territories in the East China Sea, mainly around the Diaoyutais, known in Japan as the Senkakus.

The agreement designates an area in the East China Sea that is claimed by both sides as waters where fishing by both Taiwanese and Japanese vessels will be allowed. The area lies south of 27-degrees north latitude, and north of the Sakishima Islands.

The agreement also gives Taiwan an additional fishing zone of 1,400 square nautical miles, or 4,530 square kilometres.

However, the agreement does not apply to the waters within 12 nautical miles of the Diaoyutais, which are claimed by both sides.

Under the agreement, both sides have also agreed to set up a joint committee to discuss fishery issues and to resolve possible disputes.

The joint committee just concluded a two-day preparatory meeting in Tokyo, which will pave the way for future negotiations on issues that have yet to be resolved through the pact, the Foreign Ministry said.


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