Fisheries officials from Japan and Taiwan are to hold talks in Tokyo this week over fishing rights around the Diaoyu Islands with analysts saying it is no coincidence that Chinese Coast Guard ships sailed close to the disputed territory just days before the talks were due to open.
Kyodo News reported that a joint fisheries committee made up of representatives of Japan and Taiwan will open three days of talks in Tokyo on Tuesday to reconsider the limits that were introduced last year on the two fishing fleets in waters around the islands - known in Japan as the Senkakus - ahead of the opening of the 2019 fishing season.
The two sides will discuss fishing operations in an area north of the Yaeyama Islands, while Japan has also called for all vessels operating in the area to be equipped with an automatic ship identification system.
The two sides agreed an initial pact on joint exploitation of maritime resources in the region in 2013. Under the terms of the agreement, Taiwanese trawlers are permitted to operate within part of Japan's exclusive economic zone around the Japanese-controlled Diaoyu Islands, but there is no mention of the sovereignty issue. Taiwan also claims the islands as its territory and says they should be known as the Tiaoyutai islands.
Beijing also lays claim to the uninhabited islands, saying they have historically been Chinese territory.