TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan should launch a ferry service to the Japanese island of Yonaguni, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said Thursday (June 8).
He announced on a radio show that he would make the 110-kilometer sea journey from Suao in Yilan County to Yonaguni on July 4, CNA reported. Diet member Furuya Keiji would welcome him there, and together they would sail to Yilan, he said.
You described his travel plans as “work” and as a “trial” for the eventual ferry service. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), the Yilan County Government, and the local authorities in the fishing port of Suao were all informed and agreed to cooperate on the plan, he said.
Many people in Taiwan had no idea Japanese territory was so close, said You, who once served as Yilan County commissioner. When the weather allowed, you could even see Yonaguni from Taiwan, he said.
The westernmost populated island in Japan counts fewer than 2,000 residents in an area of 29 square kilometers. Due to its location on the outskirts of the country, it has become a key element of the military’s policy to strengthen the country’s defenses with China’s aggressive posture in mind.