The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.
Taiwanese protest against Japan over disputed Diaoyu islands
Agence France-Presse in Taipei
Hundreds of Taiwanese rallied on Sunday to press Taipei’s claim over disputed East China Sea islands at the centre of a major row between Beijing and Japan.
Nearly 1,000 people marched through the town of Toucheng, in northeastern Ilan county, clutching banners and flags and chanting slogans.
Several demonstrators wore white T-shirts with slogans such as “Safeguarding the Diaoyu”, using the Chinese name to refer to the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese.
Taiwan has placed the islands – which are controlled by Japan – under the administration of Toucheng town government.
The protest came after dozens of Taiwanese fishing boats from Ilan county last week entered territorial waters around the disputed islands to press Taipei’s claim.
Japanese coastguard ships sprayed water at the fishing vessels in a bid to turn them away, prompting a fleet of Taiwanese coastguards to fight back, directing their own high-pressure hoses at the Japanese ships.
The intrusion has complicated the already volatile territorial dispute between Japan and China.
Tensions have mounted after Japan announced in September that it had completed a planned purchase of some of the islands, prompting Taiwan to recall its envoy to Tokyo and triggering mass protests in China.