The government has set up a commission under the Advisory Council (Chairman: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies President Akihiko Tanaka) for the National Headquarters for Ocean Policy (headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) to strengthen information sharing and international cooperation to combat maritime threats, including illegal operations by fishing boats and suspicious vessels. The commission will compile a proposal for reviewing the system and submit it to the prime minister next spring.
The commission, inaugurated as of Sept. 12, comprises officials of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), the Ministry of Defense, and the Fisheries Agency as well as experts including former JCG Commandant Satoshi Nakajima. It will consider ways to gather and utilize information necessary for the early detection of and prompt response to threats.
Currently, Japanese agencies are independently gathering maritime information, and this has given rise to concern over the negative effects of a “vertically compartmentalized bureaucracy.” Countries like the U.S. and France have organizations to centralize information on maritime crimes and illegal operations by foreign fishing boats.
The government is also considering establishing a new organization. It is aiming to begin planning the new organization in the next fiscal year based on the conclusions reached by the commission.