Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) is to summon Japan’s representative to Taiwan today to protest against Tokyo’s seizure of a Taiwanese fishing boat in waters near the Okinotori atoll on Monday.
“It is the ministry’s duty to do everything in its power to negotiate with Japan and lodge a protest against the incident,” Association for East Asian Relations Secretary-General Peter Tsai (蔡明耀) told a morning news conference at the ministry in Taipei.
Tsai said Representative to Japan Shen Ssu-tsun (沈斯淳) was scheduled to meet with Interchange Association, Japan President Tadashi Imai at 4pm yesterday to hand over the government’s formal complaint about the seizure of the Tung Sheng Chi No. 16, while Lin would meet this morning with Japanese Representative to Taiwan Mikio Numata.
However, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida told a news conference in Tokyo that his government does not accept Taiwan’s stance that Okinotori is not an island.
It has lodged a protest through its representative office in Taipei — the Interchange Association, Japan, he said.
Okinotori is an island as established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and Japan has the right to an exclusive economic zone around the atoll, Kishida said.
Tsai also said that Japan had yesterday expressed its displeasure with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) comments on Wednesday about Japan’s “illegal expansion of rights by unilaterally defining the uninhabited rock as an ‘island.’”
“The dispute over the atoll’s legal status has to be settled by the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf,” Tsai said.
Taiwanese fishermen should avoid fishing in disputed waters for the moment because negotiations with Japan might not see immediate results, he said, adding that the government would endeavor to safeguard the public’s interests, but it wants to prevent Taipei-Tokyo ties from being affected by the incident.
Ma yesterday reiterated that Taiwan would uphold the freedom of its fishermen operating on the high seas.
He said he had asked the Coast Guard Administration to send vessels to protect Taiwanese fishing boats, adding that “this is our fundamental right and we will not budge.”
Ma said the Okinotori atoll was originally less than 3 ping (9.9m2) in area, “but has been expanded to hundreds of square meters through artificial construction.”
Japan’s claims to have rights over a 200 nautical mile (370km) exclusive economic zone is “in violation of international law and the definition of an island under Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said.
Okinotori is a reef, a rock and not an island, and it “is small and cannot sustain human habitation” even though Japan describes it as an island, he said.
The Japan Coast Guard “seized our fishing ship [within the 200 nautical mile zone], which is a serious violation of freedom to fish on the high seas as stipulated in Article 87 of the convention,” Ma said.
“Fishing [on the high seas] is a very important right,” he said, adding that Japan can build artificial islands or facilities at sea, but no matter how much it builds, such artificial creations would not be Japanese territory.
The Tung Sheng Chi No. 16, its Taiwanese captain and nine Chinese and Indonesian crew members were released on Tuesday after the boat’s owner paid the ￥6 million (US$54,240) “security deposit” demanded by Japan.
A Taiwanese YouTuber suspected of creating and selling deepfake porn videos featuring more than 100 politicians and influencers was on Monday released on bail after being arrested the previous day. Chu Yu-chen (朱玉宸), 26, who uses the name Xiaoyu (小玉) on YouTube, was arrested on Sunday in New Taipei City, along with two suspected accomplices, a 24-year-old YouTuber surnamed Yeh (耶), known as Shaiw Shaiw (笑笑), and a 22-year-old man Chuang (莊). The three suspects were on Monday escorted to the New Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning on suspicion of distributing obscene videos and publicly insulting others, in contravention of
ANTI-COERCION: EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said the EU wishes to bolster relations with Taiwan within the framework of its ‘one China’ policy The EU is to further its engagement with Taiwan to defend democracy, freedom and an open market, while bolstering cooperation in semiconductor supply chains, EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said on Tuesday. In her remarks at a European Parliament plenary session focused on Taiwan-EU relations, Vestager referred to China’s increasing military presence in the Taiwan Strait, including flying missions off the southwest coast of Taiwan. “This display of force may have a direct impact on European security and prosperity,” she said, adding that the EU encourages all parties to avoid any unilateral actions that might increase tensions across the Strait. “We Europeans
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) yesterday debuted three electric vehicle (EV) prototypes to great fanfare at its Tech Day event at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center. The prototypes of sports utility vehicle Model C, luxury sedan Model E and electric bus Model T were developed by Foxtron Vehicles Technologies Co (鴻華先進), a joint venture between Hon Hai and Yulon Motor Co (裕隆汽車). The Model C and Model E are to be initially sold under the Yulon-affiliated Luxgen Motor Co (納智捷汽車) and China Motor Corp (中華汽車) brands when they hit the market, Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) said. The company expects
MILITARY RESOLVE: Washington does not want a cold war with Beijing, it just wants ‘China to understand that we’re not going to step back,’ Biden told a CNN town hall The US would come to Taiwan’s defense and has a commitment to defend the nation China claims as its own, US President Joe Biden said on Thursday, although the White House later said there was no change in policy toward Taiwan. “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said at a CNN town hall meeting when asked if the US would come to the defense of Taiwan, which has been facing mounting military and political pressure from Beijing to accept Chinese sovereignty. While Washington is required by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself, it has long