By: Ta Ya-chen, Kuo Chu-chen, Liu Chien-pang and Lilian Wu
Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taiwan reiterated Thursday that its fishermen have the right to enter and fish in
waters near the Japan-held Okinotori atoll in the western Pacific, and said the relevant government agency had dealt with the matter of five fishing boats being chased by Japanese patrol ships the previous day.
Taiwan maintains that the waters around the atoll are contested areas and that any disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.
“Until the legal status of the waters around Okinotori is decided, Japan should respect our ships’ right of free navigation and operation on the open sea near the atoll,” the foreign ministry said.
It said it will continue to seek to resolve fishery disputes with Japan through dialogue and consultation.