Japan and Taiwan to hold talks on maritime issues in Tokyo this week

Reports suggest talks will focus on cooperative measures to limit the illegal fishing of Taiwanese vessels in Japanese waters

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – After reports last week that Taiwanese fishing boats had trespassed Japanese territorial waters over 300 times in 2018, governments of the two countries are set to meet for a round of talks on maritime issues in Tokyo this week.

According to reports, the talks will be held to establish, or perhaps improve upon, a cooperative agreement to reduce illegal fishing by Taiwanese fishing vessels.

Much of the illegal fishing reported by the Japanese Coast Guard has occurred around the Diaoyu Islands , known as the Senkakus in Japanese, and the southernmost Japanese territory, Okinotori Island.

The two day talks are scheduled to begin Thursday according to sources speaking to the Japan Times.

This will be the third round of talks held on a complete range of maritime issues, with the previous round held in Taipei last December, however Fisheries agencies of the two countries held an agreement to discuss fishing practices around the Diaoyu Islands in March of this year.

The Taiwanese delegation will likely seek to establish a memorandum of understanding as a framework for increased maritime cooperation with Japan. This would be beneficial in creating stronger links between Taipei and Tokyo, as well as help Taiwan to improve its international standing with regard to its fishing fleet’s illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

Recently, the Taiwanese fishing industry has been under increased scrutiny for illegal fishing practices, as well as unethical practices and abuses of human rights related to the treatment of foreign fishermen.