Taiwan flotilla to leave for disputed East China Sea islands
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