Taiwan fishing boats leave Diaoyu Islands after protest

Updated: 2012-09-25 13:38


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TAIPEI - Taiwanese fishing boats that sailed to the Diaoyu Islands to protest Japan's "purchase" of part of the islands completed their voyage Tuesday morning and have set sail for home.

Local media reported that the boats finished their protest at 9:15 am and are expected to return to a port in Northeast Taiwan's Yilan county at noon Wednesday.

The boats assembled about 20 nautical miles away from the Diaoyu Islands at 5 am Tuesday. They then made their way to the islands while evading Japanese vessels that attempted to stop them with water cannons, pushing to an area located three nautical miles away from the islands.

Although the boats originally numbered 75, they were joined at sea by other boats from different parts of Taiwan, raising the total number to about 100 vessels.

Organizers said the voyage was made to protect Taiwanese fishing rights in nearby waters and to protest Japan's "purchase" of part of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Japanese government announced a plan to "purchase" part of the islands earlier this month, despite opposition from the Chinese government. Local authorities in Taiwan have also protested the move.