Taiwan, Japan work to settle fishing disputes


Catherine Zhang, SeafoodSource.com contributing editor reporting from London, England

Published on
March 3, 2009

Japan and Taiwan have agreed to cooperate in sharing information about fishing activity, putting aside years of politics over disputed islands between the two regions, according to a statement by Taiwan's foreign ministry.
Since 1996, Taiwan and Japan have engaged in 16 rounds of talks that failed to produce agreements on both sides over the fish-rich waters in the East China Sea. The latest round of closed-door talks were the first since 2005.
Relations between the neighboring regions have been rocky since a Taiwan fishing boat collided with a Japanese coast guard vessel last year near a chain of disputed islets controlled by Japan but also claimed by mainland China and Taiwan.
The agreement between Taiwan and Japan would require an implementation of emergency contact channels with the involvement of non-governmental bodies to solve related problems in the future.
The delegation of 12 Japanese fishery officials and 20 officials from Taiwan's Council of Agriculture agreed to put politics aside for the sake of fostering a peaceful and thriving fishing industry in the region.
The eight uninhabited islands are known as the Senkakus, southwest of Tokyo.

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