After a registered fishing boat in Yilan Suao was hit by a Japanese Coast Guard Vessel near the Diaoyutai Islands on the 28th, Taiwan's representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh extended his concerns to the Japanese authority while Premier Su emphasized he will assist the fishermen to make claims if their legal rights were infringed.
On September 28, Frank Hsieh, the Taiwan representative to Japan, wrote on his Facebook page that he expressed concerns and raised three questions to Japan after a fishing boat was hit by a Japanese Coast Guard Vessel near the Diaoyutai Islands. Since Taiwan has a no-interference fisheries agreement with Japan for an area of 12 nautical miles from Diaoyutai, Hsieh emphasized if the fishing boat did not enter the aforementioned area, then Japan has violated the agreement. In addition to that, large Coast Guard vessel could cause extensive damages if it hit the smaller fishing boat. The third point that Hsieh brought up was that the fishermen claimed they did not hear the warnings which the Japanese vessel claimed they indeed issued.
We will collect related evidences and analyze them accordingly before we reach a conclusion. Then we will know what happened exactly and attribute the responsibilities to related parties.
On September 29, Premier Su Tseng-chang explained harassment cases have reduced significantly after the signing of Fisheries Agreement when he was asked whether Taiwan will fight back. Su further emphasized he has requested related authorities to handle the issue while the government will assist the fishermen get claims out of rationality.
(Will you protest against the Japanese government?) We need to understand the whole picture and get the facts straighten out first before we could make any judgment. Rationally speaking, the government will assist the fishermen in filing for claims.
Because of the sovereignty dispute on Diaoyutai Island between Japan and Taiwan, fishermen from the two countries have engaged in several conflicts in the past. In 2012, fishermen from Suao landed on Diaoyutai and initiated a peace demonstration when a Japanese vessel confronted them. Japan and Taiwan engaged in a negotiation at the end of the same year. In April of 2013, both sides put the exclusive economic zone dispute around the Diaoyutai Islands aside. The two sides finally reached a consensus after 17 years by signing the Fisheries Agreement in May of the same year.
Hsin Ling Po fishing boat did apply for work permits in the designated sea area, which was agreed upon in the Fisheries Agreement, hence their rights are protected. The 12 nautical miles around the Diaoyutai Islands is a disputable area, which everyone would avoid because both sides have a consensus when the dispute is ongoing.
Hsieh said no Taiwanese fishing boats had been detained or harassed by Japanese Coast Guard vessels for the past four years. Whether Japan has violated the Fisheries Agreement or if it was a dispute of sovereignty is pending for clarification.