Taiwan holds maritime talks with Japan in Tokyo

The first maritime talks between Taiwan and Japan are under way. The talks which began on Monday are being held in Tokyo.

Deputy Foreign Minister Javier Hou spoke to lawmakers in Taipei on Monday about the focus of the talks.

There are three major issues for the talks. First: fishery cooperation. Second: emergency sea rescues. Third: scientific sea research. It is expected that our fishermen will have guarantees and will no longer experience interference when they go fishing near the Okinotori atoll in the future. It's something which can be expected," said Hou.

Hou was referring to a long-standing dispute between the two sides over fishing rights. In late April, a Taiwanese fishing boat operating in international waters near the Okinotori atoll in the Western Pacific was seized by a Japanese patrol boat for unauthorized fishing. The boat's crew later returned safely to Taiwan after paying a security deposit.

Taiwan says Japan's seizure of the boat was illegal because Japan is not entitled to a 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the atoll.

Hou said the two sides will establish a mechanism to solve disputes.

Source: Radio Taiwan International