Taipei, Sept. 30 (CNA) Taiwan urged Japan Thursday to try toresolve the dispute over the sovereignty of the Tiaoyutai Islands ina peaceful and rational manner in order to help maintain regionalpeace and stability.
Foreign Ministry spokesman James Chang made the call after 12Japanese dietmen proposed that Japan should deploy military forcesaround the disputed island group in an effort to safeguard itssovereignty claim.
The Tiaoyutais, a group of uninhabited islands with a total landarea of about 6.344 square kilometers, are located 100 nautical milesnortheast of northern Taiwan's Keelung, 225 nautical miles southwestof Okinawa.
Known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islandsin Japan, the islands and surrounding waters are believed to be richin crude oil reserves and are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan, butcontrolled by Japan.
The latest dispute was sparked by the arrest of a Chinese fishingboat skipper after his trawler and two Japanese Coast Guard vesselscollided Sept. 7. The fishing boat crew was questioned on suspicionof violating the fisheries law and on their alleged refusal of ademand by the Japanese Coast Guard to inspect the boat.
Japan freed the captain Sept. 25, four days after Chinese PremierWen Jiabao demanded his unconditional release and suspended allscheduled high-level exchanges between the two countries.
Chang said the ministry has also instructed Taiwan'srepresentative office in Tokyo to monitor ensuing developmentscarefully.
(By Lee Shu-hua and Bear Lee)