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Taiwan still negotiating with Japan on expanded fishing rights

Taiwan still negotiating with Japan on expanded fishing rights

Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Expanding Taiwan's fishing grounds is a major issue in the country's negotiations with Japan on fishing rights in overlapping territorial waters in the East China Sea, Foreign Minister David Lin said Wednesday. "We're concerned about the fishing areas," Lin said, adding that "we hope to expand the areas." Both sides are continuing to negotiate on the issue, Lin told local media on the sidelines of a swearing-in ceremony for high-ranking diplomats to be posted in Taiwan's overseas representative offices. Taiwan is also hoping to reach a consensus with Japan on a clearer definition of fishing areas in the disputed waters, Lin said, adding that it is the lack of a clear definition that has resulted in the disputes. Lin's remarks came after a second preparatory meeting between Taiwan and Japan that was held in Tokyo March 13 to pave the way for a new round of bilateral talks on fishing rights. Although no breakthrough was made during the meeting, both sides agreed to hold a next meeting as soon as possible. "We hope to hold it by the end of March or in early April," Lin said. An initial preparatory meeting took place in Tokyo Nov. 30, 2012, but little progress was made. Taiwan and Japan have held 16 formal rounds of talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories since 1996, the most recent of which were conducted in 2009. No new talks have been held since then due to differences on how to resolve the fishery disputes that mostly involve waters around the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea. The two countries are hoping that the preparatory meetings will help iron out some of the differences and improve the chances of success of a 17th round of talks. The Diaoyutais lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan. They have been under Japan's administrative control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China. Taiwanese fishermen consider the waters around the islands to be their traditional fishing grounds, but they are routinely chased away from the area by Japanese authorities when they venture too close to what Japan sees as its territorial waters. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-03-05 22:28 GMT+08:00