News / Asia

    Japan Makes Concession to Taiwan in E. China Sea Dispute

    Ralph Jennings
    Japan gave Taiwan an unusual break this week in a stubborn ocean territorial dispute that also involves China. The first-ever concession met with applause in Taipei and a word of warning from Beijing. Japan controls the waters, but China and Taiwan both make unwavering claims.
     
    Taiwan had pushed Japan for expanded fishing rights since 1996, vying with Tokyo and China for control of a massive stretch of the East China Sea believed rich in fisheries and natural gas.
     
    On Wednesday talks reached a breakthrough, when Japan agreed to give Taiwanese fishing boats unconditional use of 4,530 more square kilometers of contested ocean.
     
    The fisheries concession does not affect Japan’s four decades of control over the contested sea area, which is anchored by eight uninhabited islets. But the move signals that Japan wants relatively small Taiwan on its side, not China’s.
     
    China has sent planes and allowed destructive mass protests to assert its claim since last year, when Japan nationalized the disputed islets it calls the Senkakus.
     
    Nathan Liu, international affairs professor at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan, says Japan was afraid Taiwan would team up with China.
     
    "I think it’s because of what happened last year, because of the nationalization of the Senkaku islands, and China became more aggressive," he said. "So Japan worried about the cooperation between Taiwan and China. So that’s the reason why they compromised a little bit.”
     
    China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, urged Japan Wednesday to follow its pledges to recognize only one China and carefully handle issues involving Taiwan. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan and forbids its 170 diplomatic allies, including Japan, from activity that suggests Taiwan is a separate country.
     
    Taiwan’s relations with China have improved since 2008 despite Beijing’s claims of sovereignty and Taiwan’s continued self-rule, though officials in Taipei say they are not allied with Beijing in the maritime dispute.
     
    Japan, the world’s third largest economy, already spars with China, the second largest, on a host of other political and historical issues. Japan considers Taiwan a close informal ally, especially during heated disputes with China.
     
    The fisheries breakthrough was received well in Taiwan, where President Ma Ying-jeou has been criticized for doing too little on diplomacy.
     
    Anna Kao, spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in Taipei, says the fisheries deal followed Taiwan’s efforts to improve ties with Japan.
     
    She says Taiwan has been gradually pushing for improved relations with Japan and only on that foundation were the two sides able to reach consensus on fishing rights.  
    Taiwanese fishing boats have historically trawled the disputed waters that are 222 kilometers east of Taipei but would be turned away by Japanese coast guard vessels.

    Local media reported that the fishing industry was ecstatic about the rights deal as about 800 vessels make their way to the disputed ocean area every year.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora