Tue, Mar 06, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan protests Japan for water-cannoning boat

OVERLAPPING ZONES:A Taiwanese fishing boat was chased out of waters west of Okinawa’s Yonaguni, an area designated for use by fishers from both nations

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan yesterday lodged a protest with Japan over an incident in which a Taiwanese fishing boat was chased and water-cannoned by Japanese patrol boats in waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) over the weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The protest, which was lodged in Taipei and Tokyo at noon, accused Japan of using excessive force against the Tung Pan Chiu No. 28 on Saturday and Sunday near Taiwan’s territorial waters, the ministry said in a statement.

The Fisheries Agency has also launched an investigation to determine whether the vessel registered in Yilan County’s Suao Township (蘇澳) was operating outside the agreed fishing zone specified in the 2013 Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement, it added.

The agreement covers the maritime zone south of 27° north latitude and north of Japan’s Yaeyama and Miyako islands, where the two nations’ exclusive economic zones overlap.

Japanese patrol boats on Saturday chased the vessel away when it was about 10 nautical miles (18.5km) outside the agreed fishing zone, the agency said in a statement.

At 7am on Sunday, Japanese patrol boats again chased the fishing vessel and fired water cannons at it, forcing the vessel out of waters west of Okinawa’s Yonaguni Island, which lies in the overlapping zone, it said.

The agency would ask Japan to present evidence backing up its claims and impose punitive measures on the boat if the evidence proves compelling, it added.

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