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Taiwan vows to protect fishermen's rights in disputed waters by Emerson Lim June 15,2020   |  Source: Focus Taiwan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) assured Taiwanese fishermen on Monday that their rights to fish in waters surrounding the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea will be protected.

The assurance was made in response to the concerns of local fishermen that their rights to fish in waters around the disputed islands will be affected, after Japanese media revealed a plan by a Japanese locality to change the islands' administrative designation to highlight its sovereignty over them.

MOFA reiterated that it has expressed "serious concerns" to the Japanese side over the plan.

"The government is trying its best to deal with the issue in the hope that it will be resolved soon and that the fishing rights of our fishermen will be protected," MOFA said.

However, MOFA implied that the plan to change the name of the islands' administrative district was aimed mainly at China, which also claims ownership over the Diaoyutai Islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese, and harasses Japanese fishermen, citing Ishigaki Mayor Nakayama Yoshitaka.

Ishigaki, a locality in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture, claims jurisdiction over the disputed islands.

According to Nakayama, a similar bill was passed in June 2018 but was never implemented, MOFA said.

The plan once again came to

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