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  • Economics minister calls for regional stability

    Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The tense relations between China and Japan over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands have not affected Taiwan, but regional stability is crucial to the development of East Asia, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-hsiang said Wednesday.

    Shih said that despite the tensions between the second- and third-biggest economies in the world, he believes they will settle the territorial dispute because their economies are interdependent.

    His comment was made in the wake of Japan's purchase of three islets in Daiyoutai chain, which is controlled by Japan and is claimed by Taiwan and China.

    The minister also announced a plan for Taiwan's further economic cooperation with Japan and the United States.

    The economics ministry is hoping to see Japan invest an additional NT$3 billion (US$102.2 million) in Taiwan next year, which will help boost Taiwan's export volume by NT$62 billion, Shih said.

    In addition, Taiwan will establish a platform with the Japanese government to fill the gap in the industry supply chain, he said.

    Key Japanese businesses will be selected to set up production, and research and development bases in Taiwan, he added.

    Taiwan will also work with the U.S. in the areas of green energy, biotechnology, information and communication technology, and intellectual property rights, Shih said.

    This will spur the growth of bilateral investment by more than NT$2 billion next year, he said.

    Meanwhile, Fisheries Agency Director-General Sha Chih-yi said "the Diaoyutais are of course ours," and Taiwan's fishing operations in the East China Sea will not be disrupted by the dispute.

    Should Taiwanese fishing boats be detained by Japanese authorities while fishing in the disputed area, the Fisheries Agency will help pay 80 percent of any fines, up to a maximum of NT$1 million, Sha said.

    (By Huang Chiao-wen, Yang Shu-min and Ann Chen)
    ENDITEM /pc