Japan: They Hold Taiwan Boat in Disputed Waters
Japan sent back nine Taiwanese nationals from a seized boat that entered disputed waters rich in fish and possible undersea oil reserves.
Taiwanese authorities said the nine were sent back to Taiwan on Monday, September 14th, but there are still two people detained.
Japanese coastguards boarded and detained the fishing vessel on Sunday the 13th.
The disputed area surrounds the Senkaku Islands, an uninhabited group of islands 1,200 miles south of Tokyo. Japan controls the islets and a vast surrounding region of the sea that has been a historical fishing area for Taiwan.
Japan, Taiwan and China all make claim on the eight uninhabited islands which are also known as the Tiaoyutai in Taiwan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.
Taiwan thinks Japan is taking too strong a stance.
[Hou Qing-Shan, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs]:
„It has to be confirmed if the boat is fishing at the moment, or not. We think the Japanese government has a strong attitude towards this issue. We will keep negotiating with them. We want the Japanese government to handle this case with justice…The reason for these kinds of incidents is that some of the waters are still disputed. We hope the Japanese government can have a fishery meeting with us as soon as possible.“
Taiwan wants Japan to return the fishing boat and let Taiwan themselves punish the fishermen for entering the disputed area.