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Taiwan continues to push for fishery talks with Japan

2012/06/21 15:13:34

Taipei, June 21 (CNA) Taiwan will continue to push for a regular dialogue channel with Japan to resolve fishing disputes in contested waters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

Taiwan is eager to reopen bilateral fishery talks -- which have been stalled since 2009 -- but so far to no avail, said Su Chii-cherng, deputy secretary-general of the ministry's Association of East Asian Relations.

"The talks will be resumed when the time is ripe," he said in a routine press conference, adding that consensus needs to be reached before the next step can be taken.

The fishery talks, usually held at some point between spring and summer each year, were established in 1996 to provide contact channels when disputes arise.

The talks, however, were put on hold due to disagreements on the sovereignty of the Taioyutai Islands and the demarcation of each other's exclusive economic zones.

The principal catalyst for the disputes is the Taioyutai Islands, about 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip and claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.

The uninhabited island group, in an area rich in fishery resources, is known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan.

Su said Taiwan and Japan have agreed "to set (sovereignty) issues aside" and focus on developing a mechanism to settle fishing disputes and make sure the fishery resources are sustainable.

(By Nancy Liu)