Thu, Nov 02, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Pan-blues criticize coast guard's `Japan surrender'

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue legislators slammed the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday for "not standing up to Japan," with one prominent lawmaker calling Japan a "dangerous element" in the region on a par with North Korea.

The lawmakers made the comments while panning CGA Director Wang Chin-wang (王進旺) in a legislative committee meeting yesterday for alleged failures ranging from not putting a big enough dent in cross-strait smuggling operations to allowing Japan to "bully" Taiwan on the high seas.

"There's been a lot a talk about the arms bill lately, but little said about our Coast Guard Administration, which is oftentimes the only line of defense for our maritime territory, including our economic zones," said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Joanna Lei (雷情) during the meeting.

Lei added that the coast guard focused too much on intercepting Chinese vessels while Japan bullied Taiwanese fishing boats with virtual impunity.

"How many of our boats have Chinese authorities intercepted this year?" Lei asked Wang.

"None," Wong answered, adding that Japan refuses to recognize Taiwan's proposed maritime boundaries.

"So why are we stopping Chinese boats when they don't stop ours? Japan is our biggest bully. How come we're not doing more to assert our maritime sovereignty over Japan?" Lei asked.

KMT Legislator John Wu (吳志揚), meanwhile, accused both the US and Japan of interfering with the nation's sovereignty, warning Wang that the coast guard needs to be "especially careful of Japan."

"Japan colonized us for half a century, and while their Self Defense Forces sound innocuous, they are actually very powerful," Wu said, adding that Japan was as dangerous as North Korea.

Regarding the Diaoyutai, Wu said that a Taiwan-Japan "showdown" was necessary to make the country's stance clear.

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