Okinawa assembly seeks peaceful resolution to the Senkaku issue

October 12, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 11, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously adopted a written statement of opinion seeking a peaceful resolution to the matter of Chinese Coast Guard ships repeatedly intruding into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. The assembly also unanimously adopted a written statement of opinion seeking a review of two fisheries agreements, one between Japan and Taiwan and the other between Japan and China.

The assembly accepts that the Senkaku Islands are unmistakably a part of the territory of Japan, but stated that Okinawans are concerned about the territorial issue. They said that the dispute is damaging the friendly relations Okinawa has developed with China through historical exchange.

The assembly requests that the government enter into peaceful and calm diplomatic negotiations with China to resolve the issue. Referring to the fishery agreements between Japan and Taiwan, it strongly criticized the government for sacrificing Okinawan fishermen for the sake of Japanese diplomacy. About the collision in September between a Yaeyama fishing boat and Taiwanese boat, the assembly stated that “our concerns became reality. ” It wants a review of the extent of the waters where the laws and regulations do not apply to Taiwanese ships, and to create a fund to deal with accidents with Taiwanese vessels.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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