Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan called on Japan Oct. 4 to reopen bilateral fishery talks based on the principle of Taiwan sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Archipelago.
“Both sides have expressed a willingness to hold the talks as soon as possible,” the MOFA said. “We are working to realize this goal with the outcome hinging on Japan’s good will and respect of ROC fishing rights in the region.”
According to the MOFA, the Japanese government decision Sept. 11 to purchase and “nationalize” three islands in the Diaoyutais stands in stark contrast to its offer two days later to resume long-stalled fishery talks.
“This development has forced a rethink on how best to promote bilateral cooperation and exchanges, especially as Japan has repeatedly stated its intentions not to see bilateral relations suffer as a result of the Diaoyutais,” the MOFA said.
Separately, ROC Representative to Japan Shen Ssu-tsun, who was recalled Sept. 12 for consultations over the Diaoyutais dispute, returned late in the evening Oct. 4 to Tokyo.
Upon arriving at Haneda Airport, Shen said his top priority is pushing for resumption of the fishery talks to ensure ROC fishermen operating in the Diaoyutais will not be interfered with by the Japan Coast Guard.
Shen said another important task is convincing Japan to resolve disagreements over the archipelago in accordance with the ROC government’s East China Sea peace initiative.
“We hope that robust Taiwan-Japan exchanges will not be impacted as a result of the Diaoyutais,” Shen said. “We should cherish the closeness of ties between our two nations and continue promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of business, culture and education.”
The Diaoyutais are an uninhabited archipelago located roughly 170 kilometers northeast of Taiwan proper. The island group is historically attached to the ROC and includes Diaoyutai Island and the islets of Huangwei and Chiwei.