Taiwan should not be overly close to China, so as to maintain the balance of power in the East Asia region, Japanese Diet members were quoted as saying during a recent meeting with visiting Taiwanese lawmakers on issues pertaining to the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台列嶼).
Taiwan, China and Japan all claim sovereignty over the islets, known in Japan as the Senkaku islands and by China as the Diaoyu Islands (釣魚群島).
Members of the Chunghua Baodiao Alliance, under the escort of Coast Guard Administration (CGA), on July 4 set sail for the Diaoyutais to emphasize Taiwan’s claims of sovereignty over the archipelago.
The trip proved controversial as the alliance members brought with them the national flag of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) instead of that of the Republic of China (ROC).
At the time of the incident, Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers Pasuya Yao (姚文智), Chen Chieh-ju (陳節如), Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) and others were on a visit in Japan.
Huang said yesterday after returning to Taiwan that in a luncheon with Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party representatives Yoshitaka Shindo and Hakubun Shimomura along with Democratic Party of Japan representative Shozo Azuma — all of whom are considered heavyweights within their respective parties — both sides exchanged opinions on the development of Taiwan-Japan relationships, as well as the political situation in Japan.
Due to the conflict with the Japan Coast Guard on the Diaoyutais issue on that same day, Shindo broached the subject, stating that the archipelago was Japanese sovereign territory, but both Taiwan and Japan could discuss fishing rights and joint resource development in the area, Huang said. She added that Shindo’s remarks met with the approval of the other two Japanese representatives.
Yao responded by reaffirming Taiwan’s claims of sovereignty over the archipelago, adding that although there was currently some dispute over the issue, because Japan had once colonized Taiwan and, geographically, the archipelago had belonged to Taiwan at one time, the Japanese government should “cede” the sovereignty of the territory to Taiwan.
Huang added she spoke on the sovereignty issue of the archipelago, stating that both Taiwan and Japan recognized that the archipelago did not belong to the PRC and that the two countries should jointly develop the economic zone around the archipelago.