Second prep for Taipei-Tokyo fishery talks set today: MOFA
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan and Japan will hold the next preparatory meeting for a new round of bilateral fishery talks in Tokyo today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.
March 13, 2013, 12:15 am TWN
Taiwan's delegation to the meeting will be headed by Chou Shyue-yow (周學佑), a diplomat stationed at the nation's representative office in Tokyo, said MOFA's deputy spokesman Calvin Ho (何震寰) during a press conference.
Officials from MOFA, the Council of Agriculture, the Coast Guard Administration, and other related government units will also join the one-day meeting, he added.
The delegation from Japan will be led by Michihiko Komatsu, head of the Japan's Interchange Association's (JIA) general affairs section.
Members of the Japanese delegation include officials from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fisheries Agency, and Coast Guard, and the Okinawa General Bureau of its Cabinet Office.
Ho, however, declined to discuss the meeting's agenda. He said the ministry will announce the results of the one-day talks when they are finished.
In a separate statement released by the JIA yesterday, it said the closed-door preparatory meeting will be held at its headquarters in Tokyo.
The association, which represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, said it will release a statement after the meeting is finished at around 7 p.m. today.
The Wednesday meeting is to serve as a preparatory conference for the next rounds of the formal bilateral fishing rights talks.
A first preparatory meeting took place in Tokyo on Nov. 30, 2012, but little progress was made at the meeting.
Both sides, however, agreed during the November meeting that they would continue to negotiate with sincerity and good will to organize a second preparatory meeting as soon as possible.
Meeting to Solve Fishery Disputes in Diaoyutais
Taiwan and Japan have held 16 formal rounds of talks on fishing rights in their overlapping territories in the East China Sea since 1996, the most recent being held in 2009.
But no new talks have been held since due to differences on how to resolve cross-border fishery disputes that mostly involve waters near the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the region.
For years Taiwan has looked to forge a consensus with Japan to settle the fishery disputes, which are a frequent occurrence in the region and in which Taiwanese fishing boats are often harassed by Japanese coast guard vessels.