Expanding Taiwan’s fishing grounds is a major issue in the country’s negotiations with Japan on fishing rights in overlapping territorial waters in the East China Sea, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said yesterday.
“We’re concerned about the fishing areas,” Lin said, adding: “We hope to expand the areas.”
Both sides are continuing negotiations on the issue, Lin said on the sidelines of a swearing-in ceremony for diplomats prior to their posting overseas.
Taiwan is also hoping to reach a consensus with Japan on a clearer definition of fishing areas in the disputed waters, Lin said, adding that it is the lack of a clear definition that has resulted in the disputes.
Lin’s remarks came after a second preparatory meeting between Taiwan and Japan that was held in Tokyo on Wednesday last week to pave the way for a new round of bilateral talks on fishing rights.
Although no breakthrough was made during the meeting, both sides agreed to hold another meeting as soon as possible.
“We hope to hold it by the end of March or in early April,” Lin said.
Taiwan and Japan have held 16 formal rounds of talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories since 1996, the most recent of which were conducted in 2009.
No new talks have been held since then because of differences on how to resolve the fishery disputes that mostly involve waters around the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known as the Senkakus in Japan.