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  • Diaoyutai dispute will be handled properly: premier

    Taipei, Sept. 28 (CNA) Premier Wu Den-yih said Tuesday that the government would properly handle the recent tensions over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, adding that Taiwan must ensure the safety of its fishermen or vessels and prevent them from being humiliated by others.

    "That is our basic stance," Wu said.

    The premier also reiterated the Republic of China's sovereignty over the islands, but stressed that the situation would not be addressed in a way that would allow it to become unmanageable.

    "We shall not handle this issue rashly and let it become out of hand, " Wu said while responding to lawmakers' questions at the Legislative Yuan. "We need to take a broader view to consider the country's benefits."

    The uninhabited Diaoyutais, known as the Diaoyutai Islands in China and the Senkaku Islands in Japan, lie around 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip. The area has been claimed by Japan, Taiwan and China.

    Earlier this month Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain after his ship collided with Japanese Coast Guard vessels near the islands. Although the Chinese captain has since been freed, relations remain tense between the two countries.

    After Hirokazu Nakaima, governor of Japan's Okinawa, said Monday he wanted to visit the Diaoyutais to stress Japan's sovereignty over them, ruling Kuomintang Legislator Liu Shen-liang suggested the premier visit the islands as well.

    "We must claim our sovereignty over the region while avoiding potential difficulties," Wu said.

    (By Kelvin Huang and Fanny Liu)