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    Ishigaki fishers seek pact with Taiwan, brace for China's advance

    I missed this news piece the other day about the disputed Diaoyutai Islands between Japan and Taiwan. These mostly uninhabited islands are a favorite stop not only for commercial fishing boats from Japan, China and Taiwan, but also sport fishing boats looking a variety of big pelagic species like dogtooth tuna and amberjack, to name a few.

    ISHIGAKI, Dec. 3, 2010 (Kyodo News International) -- Fishers from Ishigaki island in Okinawa, which has administrative jurisdiction over the disputed Senkaku Islands, have called on the central government to deal with the increasing presence of Taiwanese fishing boats in nearby waters, which they say threatens their safety and livelihood.

    Ishigaki islanders have also been largely perplexed by the escalation in tensions between Tokyo and Beijing following the Sept. 7 collisions between a Chinese trawler and Japanese patrol boats near the Japan-controlled Senkakus in the East China Sea, which exacerbated a longstanding spat over the chain of five tiny uninhabited islands claimed by China and Taiwan.

    Located some 170 kilometers southeast of the islands, which remain a powder keg for the three Asian economies, fishers of Ishigaki often venture into waters near the Senkakus by navigating for about six hours to reach ''a sea of treasure'' harboring tuna, bonito and snapper. Read more

    Diaoyutai Islands are claimed by Taiwan, Japan and China.