Date: April 27, 2016
Taiwan called on Japan to respect the rights of Taiwan and other countries to navigate and fish
in disputed waters surrounding Okinotori in the western Pacific Ocean following the seizure and subsequent release of one of the country’s fishing boats, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs April 27.
The Dong Sheng Ji No. 16, a Pingtung County, southern Taiwan-registered vessel, was detained April 25 by Japan Coast Guard while operating 150 nautical miles east-southeast of Okinotori. The fishing boat and its crew were released April 26 after payment of a 6 million yen (US$53,973) security deposit.
MOFA said the deposit paid to Japan by the ship’s owner does not indicate that the government implicitly accepts Japan’s claim to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone surrounding Okinotori.
The legal status of Okinotori has not been decided by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Japan unilaterally claims an exclusive 200-nautical-mile EEZ extending from the nine-square meter Okinotori.
During a national security meeting at the Presidential Office April 27 in Taipei City, President Ma Ying-jeou said the incident violates the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. [FULL STORY]