Taiwan and Japan have agreed to establish a dialogue mechanism for cooperation on marine affairs, Taiwanese Executive Yuan Spokesperson Tung Chen-yuan said today. The decision was made following bilateral consultations on a recent fishery dispute between the two sides.
Tung made three points regarding the consultations:
1. Regarding the recent fishery dispute between Taiwan and Japan, the new administration’s position on fishery rights remains unchanged from the position articulated by Democratic Progressive Party Spokesperson Wang Ming-sheng on April 29—that is, that the two sides should resolve the dispute through consultations. The new administration’s position has not changed since it took office, and it does not take a specific legal position on this issue.
2. Maintaining friendly ties with Japan is very important to Taiwan’s overall foreign relations. Hence, the two sides should not take any action that would add to tensions but should engage in constructive dialogue and promote cooperation in marine affairs.
3. Based on a mutual desire to maintain friendly relations, Taiwan and Japan have agreed to quickly establish and activate a marine cooperation dialogue mechanism under the framework of Taiwan’s Association of East Asian Relations and its Japanese counterpart, the Interchange Association.
Taiwan and Japan have reached a preliminary consensus to set up the mechanism for the first round of talks before the end of July, Tung added. Aside from fishery cooperation, the talks will address topics of mutual interest, including environmental protection, scientific research and emergency rescues at sea.