Taiwanese legislators demand tougher action against Japan over Okinotorishima island


TAIPEI – Legislators of Taiwan’s Kuomintang (KMT) on Thursday demanded that the executive branch take tougher action against Japan, including use of military force, after a Taiwanese fishing boat and its crew were detained by Japan Coast Guard officials last month for fishing in Japanese waters.

KMT legislator Liao Kuo-tung told a legislative committee that the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, also of the KMT, is “too weak” in handling the matter so “when it (Taiwan) gives an inch, it (Japan) will take a mile.”

“We must take stronger actions,” he said. “Only by using military means can we make Japan bow its head.”

The Dong Sheng Ji No. 16 was found by the Japan Coast Guard in waters near Okinotorishima, the southernmost point of Japanese territory, on April 24. It was subsequently boarded and its crew members were detained.

The boat and its crew were released a few days later following negotiations that led to payment of a ¥6 million fine to the Japanese side.

Another KMT lawmaker, Kung Wen-chi, said sending official vessels to protect Taiwanese fishermen in the area is not an act of provocation but a proper measure aimed at pressuring Japan to come to the negotiation table.