Active Response to Taiwanese Workers Dismantling Wrecks (Minamikojima Island)

In 1967, Taiwanese workers began dismantling the Panamanian 10,000 ton vessel, the Silver Peak, which had wrecked on Minamikojima Island. In July 1968, a joint survey team led by Takaoka Daisuke discovered this activity. Yung Tzu Steel Manufacturing Co. had purchased the wreck from Empresa Naviera Libertad Co. of Panama. Yung Tzu commissioned the Taiwanese salvage company Xingnan Engineering to dismantle the wreck. Including three employees of the salvage company, 45 Taiwanese workers were engaged in the activity.

The workers set up three tents in two locations and two cranes on the beach. The leader of the Xingnan Engineering team had a permit issued by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Government of Taiwan (March 12, 1968: Chiao-Hang 5703-0431), a written contract between Empresa Naviera Libertad and Yung Tzu (October 24, 1967: in English), a dismantlement permit from the head of the port of Keelung in Taiwan (March 30, 1968), and an exit permit from the Taiwan Garrison Command. The fact that Taiwanese workers were dismantling a wreck on Minamikojima Island was taken seriously by the US Civil Administration and the Government of the Ryukyu Islands, which sent officials to the island from August 12 to August 13, 1968.

(Officials sent)
Shiroma Shobun, Immigration section head
Ronald A. Gaiduk, deputy director of the US Civil Administration Foreign Affairs Office (observer)
Two police officers (Ref. 1)




Ref.1 : "Senkaku Retto ni okeru fuho nyuiki Taiwanjin no chosa hokoku" (Survey Report on Taiwanese People Who Illegally Entered the Senkaku Islands Territory), Nyushutsukan (Immigration Record) 289, August 15, 1968, from Yaeyama Office head to Immigration Office head. Copy in OPRF Center for Island Studies.