The fishing vessel, “Tung Sheng Chi 16,” from Pingdong in southern Taiwan, was on its way back as mainland fisherman Lin Mingyuan had suffered an asthma attack and needed urgent treatment, said Tseng Yu-tzung, an official with a local fishing sector association in Pingdong.

shipping-640x491.jpgTaiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou urged Japan to release the ship and people on board as soon as possible, claiming that Japanese behavior in the disputed water was “unacceptable.”

The Japanese vessel chased the fishing boat on Sunday night. Japanese staff boarded the ship for inspection in the early hours on Monday and then took its captain to the Japanese ship. The Japanese side demanded a payment of 1.7 million new Taiwan dollars (about 52,700 U.S. dollars) for the release of the ship and crew.

The sick fisherman remained in the fishing boat without receiving treatment, he said.

Taiwan authorities have lodged protests with the Japanese side and urged Japan to release the fishing boat and its crew immediately.

Japan has been trying to make the Okinotori Atoll a de facto island over the past years. But it is only about 10 square meters above sea level at high tide, making it a rock according to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Source; Xinhua

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