Date: May 2, 2016
Japan’s seizure of a Taiwan fishing boat and demand of a security deposit to secure its release
violate the spirit of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea and infringe upon the rights of Taiwan fishermen, Republic of China (Taiwan) Foreign Affairs Minister David Y. L. Lin said April 29.
Taiwan-registered vessel, the Dong Sheng Ji No. 16, was seized April 25 by Japan Coast Guard while operating 150 nautical miles east-southeast of Okinotori reef in the western Pacific Ocean. The fishing boat and its crew were released April 26 after payment of a 6 million yen (US$53,973) security deposit.
President Ma Ying-jeou said April 27 that seizing foreign vessels working in international waters and demanding security deposits for their release violate freedom of fishing in high seas as laid down in Article 87 of UNCLOS.
Lin strongly protested the actions of Japan Coast Guard during an hourlong meeting with Mikio Numata, head of Interchange Association, Japan—the organization representing the interests of Japan in Taiwan. He also called on Japan to refrain from unilaterally expanding its Okinotori reef claim, and to respect the right of Taiwan and other countries to navigate and fish in the area. [FULL STORY]