Radio Taiwan International
Taiwan has asked Japan not to disturb its fishermen operating in the waters around the Okinotori atoll until its status has been determined. That’s after five Taiwanese fishing boats were chased away from the area on Wednesday evening.
Taiwan does not dispute Japan’s sovereignty over the atoll in the Philippine Sea. But it does dispute Japan’s claim that Okinotori is an island entitled to a 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Taiwan views the area around the atoll as international waters.
The foreign ministry on Thursday called on Tokyo not to harass Taiwanese fishing boats operating in the area while the legal status of Okinotori remains undetermined. It also said the government is committed to dialogue to find peaceful resolutions to the issue and uphold the interests of Taiwan’s fishermen.
Last year there was controversy when a Taiwanese fishing boat was detained by Japanese authorities and forced to pay a security deposit to secure its release. [FULL STORY]