Taiwanese fishermen have reportedly sailed towards the Senkaku Islands.
The 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters said that around 40 to 50 Taiwanese fishing boats had entered Japan’s territorial waters as of 6 a.m. on Tuesday, accompanied by 10 surveillance ships. The number of Taiwanese vessels is expected to increase to nearly 100. Five Chinese vessels were also reportedly spotted near the surrounding waters of the islands as of 8:35 am, The Nikkei reports. According to Chinese state-run media, around 1,000 Chinese ships sailed towards Japanese territorial waters last week. That was denied by the Japan Coast Guard.
But Taiwan, rather than laying territorial claims on the uninhabited outlying rocks, brought fresh protests over what it deems as “traditional fishing grounds”. Lin Yue-ying, chair of the local fisherman’s association told the Financial Times that they were asserting the “protection of fishermen’s rights”. The Senkaku Islands are situated roughly 100 nautical miles from Taiwan’s coast, at the same time lying relatively near China and Japan who both see them as crucial to their claims of sovereignty.