Taiwan skipper arrested over alleged trespass into Japan seas

TAIPEI - A Taiwanese skipper has been arrested by Japanese authorities for allegedly trespassing into Japan's side of a temporary enforcement line in overlapping waters in the East China Sea, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

MOFA is currently in talks with Japanese authorities in the hope that they can release the detained Taiwanese captain as soon as possible, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) said yesterday.

According to local media reports, the Yilan-based Chun Ho Feng No. 166 (春何豐166號) fishing boat, captained by Chien Lien-chun (簡連春), was intercepted by ships belonging to Japan's Fisheries Agency while operating in seas off Japan's Kagoshima city at midnight, Thursday.

Also aboard the ship were a Taiwanese national chief engineer, three Filipinos and five mainland Chinese crewmen.

The captain and his crew, as well as the boat, have been sent to nearby Kagoshima City, pending further investigation.

According to Kao, the skipper is currently under detention and been investigated over trespassing into Japanese waters for the purposes of fishing.

Those who are found trespassing in Japanese waters for fishing are usually required to pay a fine before they will be released by Japanese authorities.