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Japan to set up office to crack down on foreign fishing boats

Tokyo, Aug. 27 (Jiji Press)–The Fisheries Agency will establish a new office in fiscal 2022 to strengthen crackdown on foreign fishing vessels operating without permission in Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, Jiji Press learned on Friday.

 

The new office will work with the Japan Coast Guard to stop illegal operations and promote coordination within the government for international fishery negotiations, according to informed sources.

 

In recent years, foreign fishing boats including from China and North Korea have continued to illegally operate in known fishing grounds within Japan’s territorial waters and EEZ.

 

“It’s a problem that Japanese fishermen can’t fish safely in Japan’s territorial waters and EEZ,” said an official of the agency.

 

In particular, illegal operations are seen in a Sea of Japan area called Yamatotai and in waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

 

North Korea claims that Yamatotai is within its own EEZ. Chinese vessels have also been spotted in the area since around 2020.

 

In 2020, the Fisheries Agency issued warnings to more than 4000 foreign fishing vessels. In the seven months through this July, 564 Chinese vessels were warned to leave Yamatotai.

 

The agency plans to strengthen its cooperation with the coast guard, including joint training on spraying water on foreign fishing vessels.

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