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Japan has left Okinotori area: CGA

Japan has left Okinotori area: CGA

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Japanese vessels have left the 200-mile zone around Okinotori, the Coast Guard Administration said Wednesday.
The 9-square-meter area has been at the center of tension between Taiwan and Japan since the latter detained a Taiwanese fishing trawler there last month.
Tokyo claimed Okinotori was an island, allowing it to stop fishing by foreign ships within a 200-mile economic exclusion zone, but Taipei said it was only an atoll, and Japan’s action against the vessel was therefore illegal.
The dispute coincided with the handover of power on May 20 from President Ma Ying-jeou to President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party government is seen as more friendly toward Japan.
Responding to questions from legislators, Lee Chung-wei, the new director-general of the CGA, said that the last Japanese military vessels had disappeared from the 200-mile zone around Okinotori on Tuesday.
He confirmed a lawmaker’s view that as long as Japanese ships operated in the area, Taiwan needed a presence to protect its fishermen.
Lee also insisted that the number of CGA ships in the area had not changed since May 1, and that whatever the view was on the status of Okinotori, protecting Taiwanese fishermen would remain a priority.
Opposition Kuomintang lawmakers have criticized the new government for going out of its way not to displease Japan over the status of the area.


Updated : 2021-08-02 06:15 GMT+08:00