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Taiwan flotilla to leave for disputed East China Sea islands

Published on Sep 24, 2012 2:59 PM
 
People make preparations on fishing boats prior to their departure from Suao, a fishing port in the north-east Ilan county on Sept 24, 2012. Dozens of Taiwanese fishing boats will set sail on Monday for disputed East China Sea islands, organisers said, amid a row over territory controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. -- PHOTO: AFP

SUAO (AFP) - Dozens of Taiwanese fishing boats set sail on Monday for disputed East China Sea islands that are also claimed by China and Japan and have sent tensions between the two Asian powers soaring

The fishermen aim to highlight Taiwan’s claim over the uninhabited islands – known as Diaoyu in China but Senkaku in Japan – which lie 400km from the Okinawan capital of Naha and 200km from Taiwan.

The islands, which are administered by Japan, lie on vital shipping lanes and are believed to be located near potentially rich gas fields.

The flotilla of 78 fishing boats flying Taiwan flags and brandishing demonstration signs left Suao, a port in north-east Taiwan, at 0700 GMT (3pm Singapore time). They are expected to arrive around dawn on Tuesday

 
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