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Fined Taiwanese captain laments trespassing incident

Fined Taiwanese captain laments trespassing incident

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) The captain of a Taiwanese fishing boat detained by Japanese authorities said Friday that he did not intentionally trespass into Japanese waters. The Suao-registered fishing ship, the 46.29-ton Fu Chang No. 168, was caught Thursday operating in waters 54 kilometers northwest of Ishigaki Island, which lies about 250 km off Taiwan's east coast. Su said he was trying to retrieve long line fishing gear worth NT$400,000 (US$13,371) that was drifting southwards with the sea current when he sailed a mere 0.7 nautical miles into Japanese waters. But the Japanese patrol boat appeared immediately, he said. "They are fully prepared to find fault with Taiwan and its fishermen," he said. He also rejected the Japanese patrol boat's claim that his ship was deliberately posing as a Japanese fishing vessel. The fishing boat strayed beyond the area covered by a recent fishing agreement between Taiwan and Japan that spells out each country's fishing rights in their overlapping waters in the East China Sea. It was the third time a Taiwanese fishing boat has been detained by Japanese authorities since the two countries signed the agreement on fishing rights near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands on April 10. Su admitted to trespassing and was fined 4.3 million Japanese yen (NT$1.27 million). The ship returned to Suao after the boat owner paid the fine. (By Worthy Shen and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-06-20 18:41 GMT+08:00