The Yilan County Council yesterday passed a provisional motion recommending that the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) be renamed Toucheng Township Diaoyutai (頭城釣魚台).
The sovereignty controversy over the islands, which are claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China, resurfaced after Chinese Coast Guard vessels this week entered waters near the islands.
The county council’s motion — proposed by Yilan County Councilor Tsai Wen-yi (蔡文益), a Toucheng resident — followed plans by Ishigaki City Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama to change the name of the islands from the Senkaku Islands, as they are known in Japan, to “Tonoshiro Senkaku.”
Photo: Chiang Chih-hsiung, Taipei Times
The Yilan County councilors approved the motion with 29 votes.
To be held on June 22, the vote on Ishigaki’s plan is expected to pass, as Japan’s ruling party holds a majority on the Ishigaki City Council.
Yilan County Government Secretary-General Lin Mao-sheng (林茂盛) said that the county government would examine the issue and inform the council of how to implement the motion.
Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tzu-miao (林姿妙) on Monday invited President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to visit the islands to “defend the islets’ sovereignty.”
Thanking Lin Tzu-miao for the invitation, Tsai Ing-wen responded that the central government would handle the issue in a manner that would observe Taiwanese claims of sovereignty while maintaining regional stability.
Lin Tzu-miao yesterday said that she is having a discussion about visiting the islands with fishers and the local fisheries association.
Prior to meeting with Canadian Trade Office in Taipei Executive Director Jordan Reeves in Taipei yesterday, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun urged Japan to maintain the cordial relations between Taiwan and Japan, saying that they should work together in the face of Chinese threats, and set aside differences and jointly develop the area.
You called on Japan and Taiwan to remain calm over the issue, and to jointly promote events beneficial to Japan-Taiwan friendship and greater peace in the region.
Asked for comment on the issue, Executive Yuan spokesman Ting Yi-ming (丁怡銘) said yesterday that the Executive Yuan respects regional politics, while reasserting the nation’s sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands.
Tsai Ing-wen has called on claimants of the Diaoyutais to put aside their differences and jointly develop the disputed waters surrounding the islands, he said, adding that the government would continue to protect the rights of Taiwanese fishers to operate in the vicinity of the islands.
Additional reporting by Sean Lin
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