Taiwan protests against Japan in Diaoyu Islands row

June 30th, 2008 - 10:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, June 30 (DPA) Taiwan Monday protested against Japan in a fresh row over a group of Japanese congressmen boarding a Japanese coast guard plane to fly over the disputed Diaoyu Islands to back Japan’s territorial claim. “We solemnly protest against such an action,” said Taiwan’s foreign ministry in a statement released late Monday.

Mindful of a June 10 incident in which a Japanese coast guard vessel accidentally sank a Taiwanese fishing boat while trying to disperse it out of the waters near the Diaoyu Islands, the ministry said Japan should never have recklessly started the row with Taiwan, which would only hurt bilateral relations.

In the last incident, Taiwan Premier Liu Chao-shiuan said he would not rule out war with Japan if there were no other alternative to resolve the dispute. Taiwanese parliamentarians also demanded the defence ministry send warships to the disputed waters to uphold Taipei’s sovereignty claim.

Japan later apologised under concern from the US and agreed to negotiate compensation for the skipper whose fishing boat was sunk by the Japanese coast guard.

The aerial inspection by five members of the Japanese congress Monday afternoon was seen by Taiwan as yet another challenge to Taipei’s sovereignty claim over the Diaoyus, known in Japanese as Senkaku Islands, which is claimed by Taipei, Beijing and Tokyo.

Taiwan and Japan do not have formal diplomatic relations.

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