ISHIGAKI, Okinawa Pref. — Fishermen from Ishigaki Island in Okinawa, which has jurisdiction over the Senkaku Islands, have called on the central government to deal with the increasing presence of Taiwanese fishing boats in nearby waters, which they say threaten their safety and livelihood.

Ishigaki islanders have also been largely perplexed by the escalation in tensions between Tokyo and Beijing following the Sept. 7 run-in involving a Chinese trawler and Japan Coast Guard ships near the Senkakus. The incident exacerbated a long-standing spat over the chain of five tiny uninhabited islets, which are claimed by both China and Taiwan.

Located 170 km southeast of the Senkaku powder keg, Ishigaki's fishermen often venture near the uninhabited islets to catch tuna, bonito and snapper.