Kudos to Japan and Taiwan

Regarding the April 14 editorial “A positive step in Senkaku dispute“: Disputes over sovereignty are never easy to solve. Therefore, the agreement signed between Japan and Taiwan the week before last over fishing rights in the disputed sea near the Senkaku Islands (allowing Taiwanese trawlers to operate in part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone) deserves applause.

Not only did the agreement show that both governments are rational in negotiation, but it also reflects how mature both democratic societies are to urge this peaceful resolution. It also sets a good example for future collaborative negotiations — which could involve China — over the development of resources in this region. China has much to learn about restraining its nationalist sentiments so that things can move forward.

Frankly, without a true friendship, this agreement could not have happened. All Taiwanese were highly moved two years ago when they saw the posters expressing gratitude for Taiwan’s generous donations after the 3/11 earthquake-tsunami disaster. The posters were raised by many Japanese in Tokyo Dome during the match between two national teams in the World Baseball Classic. It is this affection between the peoples of Japan and Taiwan that has established a kizuna relationship (bonds). We should cherish it.

charles i-hsin chen

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.