Wed, Apr 28, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan concerned by Tokyo’s plans for the Diaoyutais


Taiwan expressed its concerns to Japan over Tokyo’s proposal to search for undersea resources near the Diaoyutai (釣魚台) islands after it learned of the plan from Kyodo News Agency, said Chen Tyau-her (陳調和), ­secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ East Asian Relations Commission.

“Our representative office in Japan has expressed verbally our concerns about the report, but we are still in the process of finding out what the plan involves,” Chen said in response to the report.

Kyodo reported on Monday that Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet was expected to approve a new national strategy on securing rare metals needed in high-tech products as early as June, citing a copy of the government document.

Under the new strategy, the areas to be explored cover 340,000km² of the East China Sea and the Pacific, Kyodo said.

“We will monitor developments and take action in the country’s best interest when it is necessary,” Chen said.

The Diaoyutais, which lie 410km from Okinawa, 300km from China and less than 100km from Taiwan, are claimed by the three countries.

“The Republic of China has been consistent in its sovereignty over the Diaoyutais. We haven’t changed that position. Regarding Japan’s territorial claim, we hope that Taiwan and Japan can set aside disputes over sovereignty and jointly explore maritime resources in the region,” he said.

“There has been limited progress in [Taiwan’s initiative to] pursue joint exploration as either side has been unwilling to give any ground in its sovereignty claim,” Chen said.

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