Taipei – A Japan Coast Guard (JCG) patrol ship and a Taiwanese fishing boat were involved in a minor collision Sunday off the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, according to Japanese and Taiwanese authorities.
The incident occurred within Japanese territorial waters off the Japan-administered islets when the patrol boat was warning the boat to leave the waters while sailing alongside it, the JCG said Monday.
No one on either side was injured in the incident, according to the authorities. The JCG said the Taiwanese boat was fishing illegally.
Taiwan’s coast guard said the fishing boat, carrying seven crew members, returned to a port in the northeastern county of Yilan on Monday morning.
The uninhabited group of islets is administered by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. China calls them Diaoyu, while Taiwan calls them Tiaoyutai.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters in Tokyo on Monday that Japan has made a representation to Taiwan over the incident.
He added that the government intends to handle the matter “appropriately” while conducting a “necessary investigation.”
Premier Su Tseng-chang said Taiwan had demanded Japan explain what happened in the incident, and that Japan not treat Taiwanese fishermen unfairly.
The JCG said the fishing boat drew close to one of its patrol ships, resulting in a brush between the former’s bow and the latter’s stern.
According to Taiwanese media, the fishing boat made physical contact with an approaching Japan Coast Guard ship while engaging in longline fishing in the waters.
China has been actively pushing its claim to the Senkakus, frequently sending patrol boats into the waters around the islets. Taiwan, in contrast, has advocated putting the territorial disputes aside and jointly developing resources in the area.