In this photo released by Japan's Fisheries Agency, a Japanese patrol vessel sprays water at a North Korean fishing boat, right, before they collide off the northwestern coast of the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa prefecture, on Monday. Photo: Fisheries Agency via AP
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Japan protests to N Korea over sea collision

21 Comments

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that Tokyo has lodged a protest with Pyongyang over a collision between a North Korean fishing boat that illegally entered Japan's exclusive economic zone and a Japanese patrol boat, pledging to step up measures against foreign poachers.

Japanese authorities on Monday rescued about 60 North Korean fishermen who were thrown to the sea after their ship collided with a Japanese Fisheries Agency inspection vessel and sank in Japan's exclusive economic zone off the country's northern coast.

Abe told the Diet on Tuesday that the authorities helped the fishermen onto another North Korean ship and let them go rather than arrest them for criminal investigation due to lack of evidence showing illegal fishing.

But Abe said that doesn't mean Japan is looking the other way.

"The government of Japan will continue to respond resolutely to prevent illegal operations by foreign fishing boats inside of our exclusive economic zone," he said, adding that Tokyo protested to Pyongyang via a diplomatic channel in Beijing.

Japan and North Korea have no diplomatic ties. The two countries have disputes over Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, as well as North Korea's nuclear and missile development and its abduction of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. Abe has been pushing for his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the abduction issue.

Japan's exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, is a 200-mile (322-kilometer) zone where it has the right to all resources, from fish to natural gas.

The site of Monday's collision, near an area known as a rich ground for squid fishing, has been crowded with North Korean poachers in recent years. Experts say the increase is due to Pyongyang's campaign to boost fish harvests.

"It makes me angry when I imagine the Japanese fishermen's concerns," said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Taku Eto, referring to the North Korean ship's entry into the EEZ on Monday.

The Japanese Fisheries Agency's patrol ship returned to a nearby port Tuesday for inspection. Television footage showed no major external damage to the ship except for some scratches on its bow, though it was not immediately known if they were caused by the collision.

Coast guard officials were expected to ask the patrol ship's captain and crew members to provide details of how the collision occurred.

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21 Comments
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Helped the North Koreans onto another ship and sent them on their merry way?

Yeah, that'll show them who's boss.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

It was good all were rescued and returned safe. Abe plans to meet Kim. Trouble is enough with South Korea. Japan has to be good with North Korea.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Coast guard officials were expected to ask the patrol ship's captain and crew members to provide details of how the collision occurred.

Hosing down the North Korean boat would hamper vision, would it not?

It seems that the Japanese Coast Guard ship was aggressively in pursuit of the NKs.

There should be ample video evidence...

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Maybe we should just wait for more evidence instead of jumping to convenient conclusions. It seems some people on this forum (usually always the same) only see what they wang to see

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Uh yeah, you'd might as well protest to my cat, it will do as good.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Those NK boats are there with the express consent of the authorities in NK. The people in NK have limited food supplies and if tweaking the nose of the Japanese in the process of fishing is the price they have to pay, so be it.

Personally speaking, my opinion here, the Japanese have been overly nice in dealing with these boats and need to take off the proverbial "kid gloves" and start confiscating these boats, their crews and cargo as well.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Well maybe you guys from other nations think that Japan should do this or that...

I’m glad that we show restraint and treat them better than they do/would us. It probably saves lives in the end.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Again, this could be false, meant for home consumption. It's true that NK vessels are, nowadays, forced to go out further to fulfill fish quotas, why ? With the sanctions and embargoes placed on them,they have no other alternative resource they could trade with but from fishing. The area in question ( Squid haven) is roughly 500km which is half the distance between Japan and NKs fishing port of Chongjin. As for the collision location,we have one side of the story,could be true, could be otherwise

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Imagine if the North Korean fishing boat respected Japan's EEZ. Nothing would've happened.

Imagine of Japan respected North Korea's EEZ. Oh wait, they already do.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Helped the North Koreans onto another ship and sent them on their merry way?

Yeah, that'll show them who's boss.

Cut the drama..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yamato-Dai, the squid paradise is 500 km from Chonjin and 350 km from Japan. Three days it takes them to get there; the squid would spoil without proper refrigeration so they open them and dry them on deck. They sell what they have stolen mainly to China for foreign currency. NK has sold the fishing rights to their best home waters to the Chinese. DPRK fishermen are forced to go elsewhere to fulfil their quotas but the South Koreans and the Russians have clamped down hard on illegal fishing. NK boats use drift nets which are illegal in Japan, and take everything that moves from the waters there; J patrol boats are loath to go in there because the nets can and do foul their propellers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that Tokyo has lodged a protest with Pyongyang over a collision between a North Korean fishing boat that will most likely fall on deaf ears and go nowhere.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If there is a known problem in the area, then perhaps a concentration of policing assets, backed up by the military if called for to arrest every illegal fishing vessel in one fell swoop, seize and destroy the vessels, and equipment, confiscate the catch, prosecute the Captains, the crew can go home and NK provides the transport, any who wish to can go to South Korea as refugees.

Do this a couple of times and the problem will soon go away!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As with domestic crime, lack of police/coast guard/army presence where they're needed is why Chinese/NKoreans know they can get away with it.

Japan needs to grow a pair and give intruders the Russian treatment...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well maybe you guys from other nations think that Japan should do this or that...

"Other" nations? Hell I am Japanese so you dont think my opinion counts?

How long does Japan have to let these incursions go on? Hell if you were in charge I'd bet you would invite ALL the NK fishermen and their families too!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The North Korean situation regarding its people and to free choice is not one that is comprehended by many commenting here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Gees! They are not bad, are they? They rammed the boat and sink it and then turn around and protest? I’m surprised they are not trying to get the DPRK to pay for damage to the boat.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Odd that we aren't hearing which vessel caused the collision. Had it been the NoKo's boat, we'd undoubtedly have been told as nauseum.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

PROTEST only to ........................................

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Relax Yubaru

And yes, if theres foreigners who think Japan should shoot at North Koreans, I would indeed say that their opinion counts for less, as does mine in their country. I don’t want Japan in a conflict!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan needs to step up...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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