The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it was negotiating with Japan for the release of a Taiwanese fishing boat and its crew that have been held for allegedly intruding into Japan’s waters.
Ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said that Taiwan’s representative office in Japan has been in close contact with Japanese authorities since learning of the detention of the boat on Wednesday.
The Suao-based Chun Ho Feng No. 166 was detained a day earlier for allegedly poaching in waters about 20km northeast of Kuchinoshima Island (also known as Mouth Island) off Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture, according to Japan’s Kyodo news agency.
The news agency said the boat’s 59-year-old skipper, Chien Lien-chun (簡連春), was arrested on suspicion of illegally operating in Japan’s territorial waters.
Patrol vessels were sent to stop the boat after a Japanese patrol plane spotted it, the report said.
The Suao Fishermen’s Association said the boat departed Nanfanao on Saturday with a crew of nine — the Taiwanese skipper, chief engineer Chen Wen-hung (陳文宏), three Filipino and four Chinese deckhands.