Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Pro-unification groups protest at Japanese office

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Members of pro-unification groups yesterday protest outside the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Taipei office, criticizing Japan for encroaching on Taiwanese fishing rights.

Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times

A coalition of pro-unification groups yesterday criticized the Japanese government for encroaching on Taiwanese fishing rights during a protest outside the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association’s Taipei office.

At 11am yesterday, about 30 protesters from the Concentric Patriotism Association (CPA), the Chung Hwa Baodiao Alliance, the Chinese Association of Friends of Okinawa (CAFO) and other groups gathered in front of the office on Qingcheng Street in the city’s Songshan District (松山), shouting “We want our fishing rights” and “Say no to Japanese invasion.”

Protesters attempted to throw eggs at the office, but were unable to approach, as it was surrounded by more than 100 police officers and protected with barricades.

Japanese patrol boats on Saturday and Sunday harassed the Taiwanese fishing vessel Tung Pan Chiu No. 28 in waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), allegedly because it crossed a designated zone for fishing activities stipulated by a 2013 Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement.

“The Japanese Fisheries Agency is lying,” CAFO president Lien Shih-le (連石磊) said.

“As required by Fisheries Agency regulations, every Taiwanese fishing boat is equipped with a satellite monitoring system,” Lien said. “There is no way that a Taiwanese fishing boat would have gone beyond the exclusive economic zone.

“We are here to safeguard our fishing rights and the full sovereignty of our country,” he said. “We are sternly warning the Japanese government that we will never stop protesting until they stop encroaching upon our territory.”

Protesters also urged President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration to “toughen up” and take more actions to assert Taiwan’s fishing rights.

“If Tsai is unable to protect the Taiwanese, we should ask China’s People’s Liberation Army to protect us,” CPA head Zhou Qinjun (周慶峻) said.

One of the protesters waved a flag of the People’s Republic of China.

Police then escorted Lien, Zhou and several other protesters to the entrance of the building, where they handed an official letter of complaint to a representative from the Japanese office.

The groups moved their protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the police ordered them to disperse at about 11:30am.

The protest came on the heels of an incident on Wednesday, when China Unification Promotion Party local chapter director Chen Ching-feng (陳清峰) tossed red paint at the association’s doorplate to protest Japan’s treatment of the Taiwanese fishing vessel.

Chen was later arrested for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) and the paint was soon removed.

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