Thu, Mar 14, 2013 - Page 3 News List

No agreement on fishery talks

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The second meeting in preparation for a new round of bilateral talks between Taiwan and Japan on fishing rights in overlapping territorial waters off the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan, which calls them the Senkaku Islands, ended with differences of opinion unresolved, press releases said yesterday.

Interchange Association, Japan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued short statements following the meeting held in Tokyo.

Both sides agreed to meet for a third time as soon as possible and speed up the pace of talks, it said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last night that both sides have not yet decided on a date for a third meeting.

Taiwan and Japan initiated fishery talks following incidents of Taiwanese fishing boats being seized, detained or expelled by the Japan Coast Guard after the country ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1996 and set up a 200 nautical mile (370km) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) that included waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutais.

In the first preparatory talk, Japan reportedly stuck to its position that the fishing ground should be separated by a “geographical middle line” through the overlapping areas, in accordance with standard international practices.

According to the Fisheries Agency, that would allow Japanese fishermen to operate between 30 and 50 nautical miles off Taiwan.

Taiwan reportedly proposed a “proportional middle line” that would take into account the two countries’ areas, populations and economic activities.

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