Japan's Coast Guard to increase patrol vessels

Japan's Coast Guard to increase patrol vessels

Japan's Coast Guard plans to add five more large patrol boats to its fleet to boost security.

Coast Guard officials say a total of 70 Chinese vessels entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in 2018. The number is 38 fewer than the previous year.

Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.

And North Korean vessels have repeatedly conducted illegal fishing in Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Japan Sea off the coast of the Noto Peninsula.
The Coast Guard gave warnings to a total of 1,624 North Korean squid fishing boats last year.

Also 225 wooden boats which are believed to be from North Korea drifted to shores of Japan -- the largest number ever.

The five vessels will be added to the existing 62 large patrol boats. The officials say that they hope to be able to handle the situation even if multiple events happen concurrently in the waters around the country.