Japan and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to enhance cooperation over search and rescue at sea but failed to settle a dispute concerning fishing around Okinotori Island, regarded by Japan as its southernmost territory.

In the absence of diplomatic ties, the agreement was signed by Taiwan-Japan Relations President Chiou I-jen and his Japanese counterpart, Mitsuo Ohashi, chairman of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, at the Grand Hotel in Taipei.

During a two-day meeting that concluded Wednesday, the two sides discussed protection of maritime resources, maritime scientific research and maritime emergency rescue.