Ma fetes Taiwan-Japan fishing deal anniversary


TAIPEI — President Ma Ying-jeou visited a fisherman’s home in the coastal township of Dong’ao in Yilan County Sunday, where he ate fish caught in the once disputed waters between Taiwan and Japan, to celebrate his administration’s success in ending the disputes.

The Taiwan-Japan Fishery Agreement, signed on April 10, 2013, is the best proof that disputes between two countries can be resolved peacefully, Ma said on his visit to the home of Su’ao Fishermen’s Association Chairman Chen Chun-sheng.

Chen initiated a ��For Survival, Defending Fishing Rights�� protest campaign on Sept. 25, 2012, after Japan bought the disputed East China Sea islands from their private owner, stripping Taiwanese fishermen of their traditional fishing rights in the controversial waters.

On that day, Chen gathered nearly 60 fishing boats to sail in protest to waters close to the Diaoyutais, which are called the Senkakus in Japan, and Diaoyus in China.

Setting aside the territorial disputes, Taiwan reached an agreement with Japan in 2013 under the principles of parity and reciprocity, and signed the deal that protects the rights and interests of Taiwanese fishermen operating within a designated zone in the area.

The agreement extended the fishing area for Taiwan by an additional 1,400 square nautical miles (approximately 4,530 square kilometers) and restricted Japanese government boats from interrupting the fishing operations of Taiwanese boats in the designated zone.