TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) reiterated on Monday Taiwan’s sovereignty on the Diaoyutai Islands, inviting Japanese authorities to reconsider their decision to unilaterally rename the aforesaid group of islands.
In a press release released earlier that day, MOFA spokesperson, Joanne Ou (歐江安) added that the government is working with its Japanese counterpart to protect the rights of Taiwan’s fishermen rights.
Ou added that Fan Chen-kuo (范振國), the head of the Naha Branch of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, was tasked with reaching to Ishigaki Mayor Yoshitaka Nakayama (中山義隆) again to indicate that such move could impact bilateral ties.
Nakayama responded that the City Council first pitched the idea of a name-change in June 2018, but there was no substantial progress on the matter until recently when ships from China repeatedly drove Japanese boats out of Diaoyutai’s territorial waters.
Over the past two years, there were as many as 40 such incidents, Nakayama said, adding that the name change was brought by citizens in a bid to address this issue.
Contrary to China, Taiwan and Japan reached an agreement in 2012 in which Taiwan’s fishermen are allowed to fish on the islands’ 12-nautical–mile territorial waters without being “harassed” by Japanese coastguards.