Japanese parliamentarian hopes fishery talks begin soon
CNATOKYO--Japanese parliamentarian Nobuo Kishi expressed the hope Tuesday that Taiwan and Japan would soon begin a new round of talks on fishing rights in waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands.
February 6, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Kishi, the younger brother of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, asserted Japan's sovereignty claim to the islands in the East China Sea but said Japan is aware of the need to negotiate with Taiwan on fishing rights in those waters.
He hopes formal negotiations on the issue could begin soon, Kishi said while answering reporters' questions after a breakfast meeting in Tokyo with Su Tseng-chang, chairman of Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The Diaoyutais, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan, lie about 100 nautical miles northeast of Taiwan. They have been under Japan's control since 1972, but are also claimed by Taiwan and China.
Taiwan and Japan held a preparatory meeting for a new round of fishing talks on Nov. 30, without making much headway, but negotiators agreed to meet again for another preparatory meeting.
The two countries have held 16 rounds of formal negotiations on the issue since 1996, most recently in 2009.
Meanwhile, Kishi said that if the opportunity presented itself, he would mention to his older brother Su's proposal for a “democratic alliance” between the United States, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
Su met with Kishi, who heads the young parliamentarians alliance under Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and other Japanese parliamentarians for breakfast earlier in the day.
He is on a five-day visit to Japan to boost exchanges with Japan's parliament and think tanks.
Liu Shih-chung, head of the DPP's Department of International Affairs, said after the meeting that Su's visit was aimed at bolstering ties between DPP's legislators and parliamentarians from the LDP, which regained power in a national election in December.
Disagreeing with the perception that the DPP and the LDP did not engage frequently, Liu said young members of the two parties have had frequent contacts and exchanges over the past five years.
The visit was Su's first trip overseas since taking over as party chairman in May last year.