Taiwan and Japan are still negotiating the details of their next preparatory meeting for a new round of bilateral fishery talks, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official reiterated yesterday, adding that the meeting would most likely be held in Tokyo.
“Both sides are still in negotiations and have not yet made a final decision,” Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Deputy Director-General Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠) said at a news briefing.
Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) on Monday said the meeting would be held soon.
Su confirmed yesterday that the meeting would be held “soon,” but would not comment on why it was taking such a long time to finalize the meeting’s date and location.
Taiwan and Japan have held 16 formal rounds of talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories since 1996, the most recent concluded in 2009.
No talks have been held since then because of differences on how to resolve cross-border fishery disputes that mostly involve waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in the East China Sea. The islands are known as the Senkaku in Japan.
The two countries are hoping that a series of substantive preparatory meetings will help iron out some of the differences and improve the chances that a 17th round of talks would be successful.
At yesterday’s news briefing, Su was unwilling to estimate how many advance meetings would be needed before formal talks could take place.
“We hope the formal talks will be held with the idea of reaching a concrete agreement,” he said.