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May, 1, 2016

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Taiwan > Foreign Affairs
Taiwan will send two patrol ships Sunday to international waters near a Japanese-controlled atoll in the Western Pacific to protect Taiwanese fishermen operating in the area.
 
President-elect Tsai Ing-wen is expected to officially announce plans to attend the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal, scheduled for June 26, after taking office on May 20, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported on Saturday, citing sources in Panama City.
 
Republican presidential nomination candidate Ted Cruz suggested that the U.S. air carrier USS Stennis should be sent to Taiwan after mainland China denied permission for the vessel to make a port call in Hong Kong.
 
Foreign Minister David Lin on Friday summoned Japan's de facto ambassador in Taipei to lodge a formal protest against the seizure earlier this week of a Taiwanese fishing boat on the high seas near a Japanese-controlled atoll.
 
President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that Japan's claim that the Okinotori atoll is an "island" violates the rights of fishermen everywhere and that Taiwan is not ruling out the idea of submitting the dispute to international arbitration.
 
An Indonesian official said a probe was underway to address reports of a "significant increase" in Indonesian migrant workers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau who have been recruited by the Islamic State (IS).
 
The Pacific-island nation of Kiribati has signed an AU$1.7 million (US$1.3 million) contract with Kaohsiung-based San Yang Shipbuilding Corporative Company to build a landing craft, according to Kay Lin (林恩真), deputy director-general of MOFA's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
 
With the arrival of the bluefin tuna season, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Thursday urged local fishermen not to fish in the Philippines' territorial waters lest they be detained by Philippine authorities.
 
President Ma Ying-jeou called for immediate action Wednesday to safeguard the nation's fishing operations in the open sea after Japan seized a Taiwanese fishing vessel and detained its captain off the Okinotori atoll (Okinotorishima) earlier this week.
 
Japan releases held fishing vessel captain
The captain of a Taiwanese vessel seized by Japanese coastguardsmen while operating near an atoll claimed by Japan in the Pacific Ocean was released by Tokyo on Tuesday after paying a NT$1.7 million security deposit, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has confirmed.
 
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