Sat, Mar 09, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tokyo fisheries negotiations end without agreement

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

No consensus was reached at a meeting in Tokyo this week of a Taiwanese-Japanese fisheries commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The nations would hold in another round of negotiations before the fishing season begins next month, the ministry said.

At the commission’s eighth meeting in Tokyo from Tuesday to Thursday, the two sides exchanged views regarding rules for fishing boats operating in waters covered by a 2013 bilateral agreement.

Other issues discussed included the installation of an automatic identification system, and introducing protection and indemnity insurance for boat owners, the ministry said in a news release.

Taiwan’s delegation was led by Taiwan-Japan Relations Association Secretary-General Chang Shu-ling (張淑玲), with Fisheries Agency Deputy Director-General Lin Kuo-ping (林國平), and representatives from the Coast Guard Administration and fisheries associations also present.

Taiwanese representatives reiterated the nation’s stance on the overlapping areas of the two countries’ exclusive economic zones that are not covered by the 2013 agreement, the ministry said.

“In line with the spirit of cooperation and the conservation of fishery resources, both sides have agreed to resume the negotiations at another date before the fishing season,” the ministry said, stopping short of saying that negotiators failed to reach a consensus.

The agreement guarantees Taiwanese vessels an intervention-free fishing zone the northern 27th parallel and Japan’s Sakishima Islands — the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands — and gave Taiwan an additional 1,400 square nautical miles (4,800km2) of fisheries outside Taiwan’s temporary enforcement line.

Although aim was to end debate over fishing in waters near the contested Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), it does not cover waters within 12 nautical miles of the Diaoyutais.

Taiwan and Japan agreed to establish a fisheries commission to annually discuss issues including the delineation of overlapping waters in their respective economic zones north of 27° north and waters south of the Sakishimas.

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