Japan tells China to stop coral poaching after 200 boats spotted


The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment


1.China's industrial monster is bad for the earth and for the oceans

China is made an example because they are such a concentrated massive population of people and companies Japan is trying to make China look bad again..
-22 ( +2 / -24 )

China makes themselves look bad. No other country has to do that for them.

31 ( +31 / -0 )

by the time the 5 coastguards and police boats get there, all the red coral will be gone.

Problem : Chinese boats stealing red coral from another nation (not surprise)

Solution : Night ops, blowing up some Chinese boats out of the water .

treat them like drug traffickers , Asia has the most Harshest Law towards them.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

I like the idea made last week.

Confiscation of the boats and the crew returned to China. Do it enough it becomes much less profitable for the poachers.

Rules with no penalties are useless.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

Don't be surprised the Chinese will be back year after year if Japan doesn't take drastic action. They will stop coming when there is nothing left to salvage from Ogasawara's ocean floors.

But Nagatacho is always playing their tit for tat games that common sense no longer prevails. With Abe still trying to meet the top man in China in the upcoming summit so they will continue to take advantage of Japan's weaknesses including the government's lack of will power in protecting Japan's ocean natural assets.

Would the government allow hundreds of boats into the area if oil was found here like the Senkakus?

5 ( +7 / -2 )


Better idea. Confiscate the red coral's taken. Have them sail back to China at their own risk as storms are aproaching the area. Never let them set foot in the Japanese islands near Ogasawara.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Chinese are predictable.... anything of possible value... they will steal until stopped. They have zero regard for the environment... its all about the quick cheap buck.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Chinese fishermen have been caught countless of times for illegally poaching wild endangered sea creatures. The recent one before this was the poaching of hundreds of sea turtles in the Philippine sea. They are also mass farming seahorses, sharks for sharkfins etc.

What's worse, Chinese fishermen thinks the use of the term "East China Sea " means the waters all belongs to them.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday that the illegal harvesting of red coral was prohibited and that Chinese authorities would keep enhancing supervision and law enforcement.


Confiscation of the boats and the crew returned to China.

Boats should be sunk where they can be used as artificial reefs. Crew returned only after mandatory jail time. Time served should be spent offsetting costs involved.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

When Japanese fishing boats poached in Russian EEZ, they fired at the fishermen and some died. If Japanese boats poached in China's EEZ, Chinese Navy coast guards would undoubtedly shoot Japanese fishermen there. Why would not Japanese coast guards request Maritime SDF for help if Japan can't send more coast guard ships down there?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

200 boats could hold a lot of troops if China was intent on establishing a beach head on one of Japan's islands.

In my opinion Japan should make this clear to China, and state clearly that any Chinese ships entering Japanese waters without the appropriate clearance will be presumed to be hostile and will be sunk without boarding (boarding would put Japanese coast guard forces at an unnecessary risk).

At some point Japan has to draw a line in the sand and say, "These are our borders. Respect them or face the consequences", because otherwise it won't so much be an invasion as China just sailing up and saying, "Nice island. We'll take it."... by which point it is already to late to do anything.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The Japanese coast guards should simply shoot then dead.After all they are invading Japanese territory.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

China's real intention will be "the illegal harvesting of red coral in China is prohibited." They will disavow all knowledge of their actions about infringement of the property of other countries or common to the world. Same as intellectual property.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The Japanese Coast Guard should use those Chinese boats for target practice.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@JoshuYaki Could be all three although China's usual lawlessness makes #3 pointless.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The article doesn't tell you how far the boats were from Ogasawara Islands. Were these Chinese boats in the international waters? If you look at the history, Japan doesn't always honor fishing agreements. The 1997 fisheries agreement allowed both sides' fishermen to operate free of regulation around the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. So it's not clear why the Japanese coast guard needed to stop the Chinese boat and arrested the crew. The Japan-China fisheries agreement, which was concluded in 1997 and took effect in 2000. However, the agreement made no decision about regulating operations in the area of the sea around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. The 1997 Japan-China fisheries agreement, concerning the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and vicinity, within the provisional area, the fishing boats of either country can operate without permission from the other and either country has regulatory rights only over its own fishing boats.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )


They were in Japan EEZ making their action illegal.

There are no disputes in those waters since there are no other nation sharing the border on the Pacific side. There are no lame excuse for poaching by the PRC PERIOD .

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I hate this attitude of China destroying and stealing the planet

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Also, statistically China is behind 99.9% of conflict in the region. You don't Japan and SK fishing each other's waters regularly.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday that the illegal harvesting of red coral was prohibited and that Chinese authorities would keep enhancing supervision and law enforcement."

How can they "keep enhancing supervision and law enforcement" when they never have? I wouldn't be surprised if those locusts are sanctioned by the Chinese government to poach an endangered species.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

China needs to take measures to respect territorial waters that do not belong to them.

the fact is they are so used to taking whats not theirs that they now cannot believe they are ever in the wrong.

Chinese fishing boats have a ling history of poaching( theft) in Philippine, vietnamese, mslaysian, Australian, New Zealand and Japanese waters...

this is why these nations are now firmly behind Japan on these issues and firmly agsinst China.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

SamuraiBlueNov. 05, 2014 - 09:35AM JST They were in Japan EEZ making their action illegal. There are no disputes in those waters since there are no other nation sharing the border on the Pacific side. There are no lame excuse for poaching by the PRC PERIOD .

In many instances, disputes over the exact extent of EEZ are a common source of conflict between states over marine waters. The definition of Japan's 200 mile EEZ can cause problems for China is in Pacific Ocean where there are thousands of small permanent inhabitable rock that extends past the islands coast and Japan claims most of the area.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

...and where are the environmentalist organizations??

10 ( +11 / -1 )

200 wow! Just wow. China...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Where's the uyoku and all the "hate speech" guys? Good chance for them to go do their thing...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

In the 90s China shot down a US spy plane, cut it in half after stealing the technology they could get their hands on, then allowed the US to retrieve the plane. If Japan's fishermen boats were found illegally inside Chinese waters, the fishermen would not be returned, the boats would be confiscated and the fishermen would be in a Chinese jail for 1-2 yrs or executed. That much is true as historically proven. Japan should sink the boats and continue to sink the boats until China takes these matters seriously. Right now they are holding out baits to entice the enemy (Japan), then they feign disorder, and the goal is to crush Japan.

Who is the instigator? Japan or China. well this reader has yet to read about Japanese fishermen boats illegally stealing coral in Chinese waters.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Shame on China!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

First of all, it is needless to say that damn Chinese fishing boats already violated a serious law invading into Japanese territorial waters. This is criminal action already. Now, several points to mention;

Ogasawara Islands is World Heritage site! Chinese, of course, do NOT care and appreciate this kind of sentiment. As I mentioned, their acts are already unlawful. Despite of the fact that Japan Coast Guard cracked down on some, still many many boats remain in the area. Even Japanese need to get official permission for gathering coral.

I personally think if those theives do NOT have common sense and sentiments, which I believe they DON't, then Japanese government should do something uncommon-eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Tip of the iceberg.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I'm probably just plain dumb about stuff like this but, why are they after coral??? Is it something useful; or just another Chinese thing that they think makes your you-know-what bigger or more potent or some other garbage?

0 ( +1 / -1 )


Those corals fetches about US$100 per gram and are considered prescious gems and are highly appreciated in mainland China. A single poaching is said to obtain 35 Kg worth US$350,000. The fine for illegal fishing in Japan is around US$3,000- so they really do not care if they get caught as long as they are able to gain a single catch.

7 ( +9 / -2 )


People pay crazy prices for coral jewellery and ornaments.

I saw a small piece on the news last week selling for twenty million yen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Simple, S I N K The poachers without warning, it'll only take a couple of sinking's for the message to Sink in,

1 ( +4 / -3 )

China want to earn money by all good and bad means.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm not endorsing what the Chinese are doing, but how about Japan tell itself to stop whaling in foreign waters before it decides to harp on the Chinese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@sfjp330- The boats are close enough that their lights can be clearly seen at night from the nearest port. There is no question that they are well inside Japan's EEZ.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Incredible footage on TV. It really looks like a swarm of hungry cockroaches. The claim of the Chinese government that they are doing something about the poachers is ridiculous. If Japan doesn´t, nobody will.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The deep-red Japanese corals are highly prized in China where they are worn as jewelry, and can fetch as much as ¥180,000 ($1,578) per gram, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.

five Chinese boat captains have been arrested on the suspicion of violating fishing laws in October

All but one have been released after paying—or promising to pay —an undisclosed penalty fee.

No surprise that more boats are doing this. No loss but lots of money.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


The article doesn't tell you how far the boats were from Ogasawara Islands

You can see in this video how close they are to Japanese islands. Also you can see that some of these boats are Chinese government boats that are controlling the other ships.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@SamuraiBlue , @lucabrasi

Thanks for the info. I wondered why this was such a big deal, but couldn't be bothered to Google ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

woow,,200 ships close to each other...!! I say shoot them. :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Not at ALL surprising - China's fishing vessels fish illegally in Japanese waters all the time. I'm not talking near the border, I'm talking a few km from Okinawa. Japan doesn't raise so much of a fuss about it as we don't want to provoke an international incident, but it happens and it happens all the time.

200 boats, though - that's just too much. That's gotta stop, especially of something like coral.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sfjp330, this is not about fishing. Taking this red coral is internationally prohibited under the Washington Treaty.

Asked by J news sources why they continue to do this, some of them said, "Well, it may be illegal, but we have been doing it for years, so why are the Japanese complaining now? The problem lies with Japan's laxness toward enforcement!"

The big problem now is the approaching typhoon, with 9 meter waves. The question being asked is if 220 ships seek refuge in the harbo(u)rs of the Ogasawara and Izu Shoto islands, how far should Japan allow them such refuge? The Minister has said they will be subject to searches. There are not enough patrol ships to deal with them all, and what if sailors try to land? The news stations are saying that naturally locals would help out if ships' crews are thrown into the seas, but how far should Japan bend over backwards for these ships?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sir China and somewhat the same as Israel; is provoking its neighbour into retaliation; I am amazed--sometimes--that an old nation like china cannot have talks with Japan--or through a third party.. China needs all the trade it can get throughout the world and japan has far more friends than China--why--Japan is a democracy...We in the west do not allow bribery--massive corruption or idiotic political ideals--China wake up and stop acting like a 4th world country..and no I am not an enemy of china but a friend that seeks peace throughout that region ..oh we do not like people selling dead bodies to meet government quotas...stop being so 18th century..really ! thomas crane

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I didn't know until now that Japanese (maritime) police, coast guard, the Maritime SDF and the government in general are pretty useless organization for protection of Japanese citizens and territories. All the have to do is to use the 25-mm M242 Bushmaster.

The Philippines with the weakest military in Asia, used short-barrel 12.5-mm (cal-50) machine gun to teach poachers a lesson-to-remember. It is well-known all over the world the Mainland Chinese (and to some degree Chinese Taiwan) are like locus in poaching natural resources. The will not stop nor leave until the resources are totally consumed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In other articles, I have read that Chinese trawlers have completely destroyed fisheries near third world countries that do not have the military resources to protect their coastlines. This is a very, very shortsighted way to go about fishing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nandakandamandaNov. 05, 2014 - 06:07PM JST sfjp330, this is not about fishing. Taking this red coral is internationally prohibited under the Washington Treaty.

Then tell me who is enforcing the treaty? If you look at Philippines, poachers already destroyed over 7,000 hectares of coral reef in south Philippines. What good is the treay if it's not enforced. Even if JCG arrest a Chinese fishing boat captain on suspicion of poaching coral in Japan’s EEZ, and held on charges of attempting to refuse an on-board inspection. If convicted, you could be imprisoned for only up to 6 months or fined up to ¥300,000 (about $3,000 U.S. Dollars). Nobody will served 6 months, so what good is the Japanese law if the potential punishment is so light? Many poachers, not just the Chinese, but the Japanese poachers will continue to take the risk on the coral reef.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Thieving with Chinese characteristics. It's time to open fire on any Chinese fishing vessel that refuses to comply immediately with coastguard orders. Japan must enforce its rights, or lose them: it's no good moaning and whining.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Keep talking without action is as bad as illegal behavior, just take look of the manner of action what Green Peace did!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Chinese government is missing in action on this issue. It needs to come clean and immediately reel in these pirates of the high seas before things take a turn for the worse and China's wider interests are threatened.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let the Dalai lama decide what to do abour it

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sink them then they will stop.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites