TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan and Japan are holding intergovernmental talks on fishery agreements and maritime cooperation in Tokyo this week, starting Tuesday, March 5.
The eighth annual fishery commission talks, which will run through Thursday, are one of the few direct government to government exchanges between Taipei and Tokyo.
The two sides will discuss the 2013 fisheries pact, and may approve some amendments or updates, according to CNA.
At the seventh annual meeting in March 2018, the two sides agreed to some revisions concerning the 2013 pact, which detailed a shared usage agreement for waters surrounding the contested Dioayutai Islands (called the Senkaku Islands in Japan.)
China, which also claims the Diaoyutai Islands, reportedly sent a Coast Guard vessel to survey the largest feature of the island chain, Uotsurijima, on Saturday morning, as a warning message to both Taiwan and Japan ahead of the talks.
The South China Morning Post reports that Beijing is growing increasingly concerned about what it perceives as deepening ties between Tokyo and Taipei.
Beijing may also be more concerned than in years previous, in light of recent statements from President Tsai to Japanese media made Sunday, March 3, in which Tsai indicated that her administration would like to arrange high level bilateral talks with Tokyo on regional security issues.
This week’s annual dialogue of the Taiwan-Japan fishery commission may provide a forum for administration officials to lay the ground work for a future bilateral security dialogue.