The third meeting of a Taiwan-Japan fishing commission opened yesterday in Taipei to address fishing regulations covering the nations’ overlapping territorial waters in the East China Sea.
The two-day meeting is aimed at reconciling differences in fishing procedures in a designated area of the East China Sea where Taiwanese and Japanese fishing vessels are allowed to operate freely, officials said.
The closed-door meeting, which is being held at the GIS NTU Convention Center at Taipei’s National Taiwan University, brought together officials from the two countries’ foreign ministries, as well as from fishery and maritime law enforcement agencies.
Representatives of fishermen’s associations from both sides are also attending the talks.
Taiwan’s delegation to the meeting is led by Association of East Asian Relations Secretary-General Lo Koon-tsan (羅坤燦), who represents the Taiwanese body in charge of ties with Japan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations.
Japan’s delegation is headed by the Interchange Association’s Taipei Office Secretary-General, Kenichi Okada. The association represents Tokyo’s interests in Taiwan.
During the meeting, the two sides could reach a consensus on maintaining a distance of 4 nautical miles (7.4km) between boats operated by Taiwanese and Japanese fishing vessels in a certain part of the designated area, a representative from a fishing association in Suao (蘇澳) said before attending the meeting.
Over the past eight months, officials and fishermen from the two sides have met to try to achieve a consensus on fishing regulations in the designated area.
The Taiwan-Japan fishing commission was established as part of an agreement signed on April 10 last year by the two countries regarding fishing rights in the East China Sea near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and claimed by the two nations, as well as China.
The first meeting of the fishing commission took place in May last year in Taipei and followed by the second on Dec. 26 in Tokyo.
Under the terms of the April agreement, Taiwanese and Japanese boats can operate freely in a 74,300km2 area around the uninhabited islands, Taiwan’s Fisheries Agency said.