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  • Taiwan, Japan to resume fishery talks

    Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Taiwan and Japan will launch a new round of fishery talks on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tokyo, after a previous meeting earlier in the month failed to reach consensus on possibly updating fishing regulations agreed upon in a 2013 fisheries pact, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced Monday.

    Taiwanese officials previously said during the March 5-7 Taiwan-Japan Fisheries commission meeting, the 8th of its kind, that the two sides failed to reach consensus on various issues.

    With the fishing season approaching, both sides agreed to hold a new round of talks in Tokyo in the hope of forging consensus, the officials said.

    The commission was established after the 2013 deal was signed that allowed fishermen from the two sides to operate freely in the overlapping areas of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the East China Sea, despite a sovereignty dispute.

    Before the pact was signed, Taiwanese fishing vessels had frequently been subject to harassment from the Japanese coastguard, as Japan claims jurisdiction over the disputed waters.

    Since then the two sides have agreed to meet annually to discuss and possibly update fishing regulations agreed upon in the fisheries pact, including whether to expand the maritime zone covered in the deal.

    The 2013 agreement covers the maritime zone south of 27 degrees north latitude and north of Japan’s Yaeyama and Miyako islands, part of the overlapping EEZ area 200 nautical miles off a country’s coast. The zone is claimed by both Taiwan and Japan.

    Provisions set forth in the agreement, however, do not apply to waters within 12 nautical miles of the Diaoyutai islands, over which both Taiwan and Japan claim sovereignty.

    (By Joseph Yeh)