Representatives from Taiwan and Japan yesterday met in Taipei for the second time to discuss maritime cooperation, expressing confidence that robust ties would allow them to overcome even the most formidable challenge through dialogue.
The two-day closed-door meeting opened at the Grand Hotel, where Taiwan-Japan Relations Association President Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) and his Japanese counterpart, Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi, raised the curtain for the event with a hug, a handshake and a brief speech.
“Taiwan and Japan are of close proximity and face several maritime problems,” Chiou said, citing fishing disputes, rescue efforts at sea and maritime crime-fighting operations.
Chiou said the challenges serve as a test for both sides, but given the firm friendship between Taipei and Tokyo, and their shared strategic viewpoints, he believes the problems could be resolved step-by-step through dialogue.
Ohashi said he hoped that the two sides could boost cooperation on maritime affairs to spur Taiwan-Japan relations, which have entered a new phase with increased trade, culture and tourism exchanges.
Ohashi said that the 2013 inking of a Taipei-Tokyo bilateral fisheries agreement after years of uneasy negotiations shows that faced with a complex problem, both sides are able to look at the big picture and meet public expectations.
The agreement aims to end disputes over fishing in waters surrounding the contested Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), also known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan.
Taiwan’s delegation is headed by association Secretary-General Chang Shu-ling (張淑玲) and includes officials from the Fisheries Agency, the Coast Guard Administration, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, the foreign ministry declined to reveal the Japanese delegation’s leader, citing their sensitive identity.
The first round of the meeting, held under the Taiwan-Japan Maritime Affairs Cooperation Dialogue Mechanism, took place in Tokyo in October last year. During the meeting, the two sides failed to reach a consensus on the Okinotori Atoll issue, but agreed to set up a task force on scientific ocean surveys and fishery cooperation.
The Okinotori issue is what prompted the establishment of the dialogue mechanism under the two associations in the first place, following the Japan Coast Guard’s seizure in April last year of a Taiwanese fishing boat operating about 150 nautical miles (277.8km) east-southeast of the atoll.
Japan classifies Okinotori as an island and claims a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone around it, but there is no international consensus on whether Okinotori is an island or a rock.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions