Man detained for vandalizing Japanese office

Taipei, A Taiwanese man was detained by police Wednesday for vandalizing a stone tablet bearing the name of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, after he threw red paint over it in protest at Japan's treatment of a Taiwanese fishing boat over the weekend.

The 50-year-old man, surnamed Chen, was immediately detained by police for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act, Tseng Huan-ching, chief of Zhonglun police station said, adding that officers will step up patrols in the area to deter any similar incidents.

Officials at the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association expressed regret over the incident, saying they will contact police to gain a better understanding of the matter, but do not currently plan to take legal action.

The incident occurred after Taiwan lodged a protest with the Japanese authorities Monday over its treatment of a Taiwanese fishing boat -- the latest in a string of Taiwan-Japan fishing disputes in waters about 150 km from Yilan, northeastern Taiwan.

On Sunday, the Su'ao-registered Tung Pan Chiu No. 28 fishing boat was chased and subjected to water-cannon fire by Japanese patrol vessels while operating in waters Japan claimed as belonging to its exclusive economic zone.

Japan has accused the Taiwanese boat of entering its exclusive economic waters and said its actions were well within its rights.

Later the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei urged the public not to resort to irrational acts toward foreign missions in the country that could adversely impact Taiwan's interests and international image, indicating the police will arrest anyone who breaks the law.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel