Taiwan and Japan are negotiating the details of their next preparatory meeting for a new round of bilateral talks on fishing rights in overlapping territorial waters in the East China Sea, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.
“The two sides are still discussing the date and place of the preparatory meeting,” said Calvin Ho (何震寰), deputy spokesman for the ministry. “Taiwan and Japan both wish to hold the meeting as soon as possible.”
After the second preparatory meeting on March 13 in Tokyo, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) said he hoped the next meeting would take place late last month or early this month.
“That is still the goal of both sides,” Ho said, but declined to elaborate.
An initial preparatory meeting took place in Tokyo on Nov. 30 last year, but little progress was made. No major breakthrough was made during the second meeting either.
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 due to differences on how to resolve the fishery disputes that mostly involve waters around the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) in the East China Sea.
The two countries are hoping that a series of substantive preparatory meetings could help iron out some of the differences and improve the chances of success of a 17th round of talks.