More than 10 "parliament" members from Taiwan sailed off to the economic sea area northeast to the Taiwan island Tuesday, as a move to show their resolve of protecting local fishermen from Japan's harassment, according to reports reached here from Taipei.
|Two naval frigates prepare to embark to the "Diaoyu" islands north of Taiwan June 21,2005. [Reuters]|
Wang Jin-pyng, the "parliament" president who boarded a military frigate on the journey of protest to the waters near China's Diaoyu Islands, said that Taiwan's fishing boats in the area have been detained frequently by the Japanese side without any justified reasons when they were performing fishing operation on their traditional fishing grounds.
"We hold this demonstration to placate our fishermen and fill them with a sense of security," Wang said, "the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands belong to us, and this is what we must speak out in a loud voice."
During the journey, "parliament" members shouted such slogans like one saying "Diaoyu Islands are our territory."
In recent years, Taiwan fishermen have been repeatedly warned, expelled, fined or had their boats detained by Japanese patrol vessels when doing fishing operation on their traditional fishing grounds.
Their fishing rights were all the more trampled upon June 8 this year, which have triggered a new round of uproar among the Taiwan fishermen, who not only denounced Japan's harassment but complained about the ambiguous attitude of Taiwan authorities on this issue.
The fishermen's self-defense action, however, has drawn enthusiastic response from all social strata on the Taiwan island and oblige local media to denounce Taiwan authorities for their failure to protect their fishermen.
A fishermen in the frigate said they felt as undignified as thieves when driven away by Japanese from their own fishing grounds, but Taiwan authorities haven't raised any clear-cut proposal in solving the issue.
China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday also urged Japan to handle the fishing disputes prudently and properly.
"The Chinese Government attaches great importance to the protection of the legitimate fishing rights of China's fishermen, including those from Taiwan," the ministry's spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a press conference.
China and Japan have signed a fishing agreement which contains stipulations on issues of fishing in relevant waters, and the two sides should follow the agreement, Liu said.
The Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent waters are Chinese territories from ancient times and the waters are traditional fishing grounds for Chinese fishermen, the spokesman said.