Diaoyu Islands

Taiwan, Japan begin talks on commission to regulate Diaoyus fishery

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 May, 2013, 4:20am

Taiwan and Japan started a closed-door meeting in Tokyo yesterday to discuss the formation of a fishing commission to address issues in disputed waters in the East China Sea.

The two-day meeting would focus on the operations of the commission, to be set up as part of a landmark agreement on fishing rights around the disputed Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, signed on April 10 by Taiwan and Japan, Taiwanese foreign ministry officials said.

"Negotiators from the two sides discussed technical and functional issues related to the future commission, including how it should be operated, and the follow-up to the fishery pact," ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao said.

Ministry officials said the commission would deal with the rights of Taiwan and Japan in their overlapping territorial claims in the East China Sea, mainly around the Diaoyu Islands, which are also claimed by Beijing.

The pact was signed amid escalating tensions in the East China Sea, with Beijing sending vessels to the disputed waters to challenge Japan's claim. Some commentators said the April 10 agreement - which came after nearly 17 years of on-off negotiations - was made possible by the showdown between Japan and the mainland.

The agreement allows fishermen from both sides to operate freely within a 74,300-square-kilometre area around the Diaoyus, but Taiwanese fishermen will still be barred from landing on the disputed island group.