JCG on alert for N. Korean boats

Jiji Press NIIGATA (Jiji Press) — The Japan Coast Guard has sent patrol ships to an area called Yamatotai, a good fishing ground located within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, to watch for illegal fishing operations by North Korean ships, it has been learned.

The patrol ships are mainly from the coast guard’s ninth regional headquarters in the city of Niigata facing the Sea of Japan, according to government sources.

The coast guard is believed to be dealing with North Korean fishing boats engaged in illegal operations in the area, while sharing related information with the Fisheries Agency.

A number of North Korean fishing boats often gather around the Yamatotai area in the central part of the Sea of Japan, making operations of Japanese fishing boats difficult.

In waters west of an area called Kitayamatotai, near Yamatotai, in the Japanese EEZ, a Fisheries Agency patrol boat was chased by what appeared to be a North Korean ship for about 50 minutes on the afternoon of July 7.

In addition, a crew member of the apparent North Korean ship pointed what looked like a rifle at the coast guard vessel.

While no damage or injury was caused by incident, Japan lodged a protest with North Korea through its embassy in Beijing.

At a press conference on Thursday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that government agencies and ministries concerned held a meeting to share information immediately after the incident.

“Related ministries and agencies are collaborating to take appropriate action in order to ensure the safety of Japanese fishing boats,” the top government spokesman said.Speech

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