Japan rages over “invasion” of Chinese trawlers

Published on
September 2, 2016

Complaints from officials in Japan have recently grown louder as they protest the presence of a large fleet of Chinese fishing vessels fishing at the edge of the country’s territorial waters.

The officials have logged complaints both with China and in the media regarding the fleet’s use of “tiger nets” that scoop up large numbers of small-sized fish. In addition, Japanese authorities have claimed that many of the vessels illegally use satellite jammers that put their location elsewhere, confusing Japanese authorities.
A response from the foreign ministry in Beijing denied the claims by Japan.

“China [is] absolutely not using nets prohibited by international organizations…There are no Chinese vessels turning off their satellites,” the ministry said in a statement.

China is engaged in an ongoing territorial dispute with Japan over islands located between the main bodies of the two countries. China has in recent years often been accused of tacitly using fishing fleets to justify the presence of its naval forces, with coast guard vessels sent to “protect” Chinese fishing vessels operating in neighbors’ waters. There have been numerous similar incidents involving the Philippines, another country with which China has ongoing territorial disputes.

A spokesman from China’s foreign ministry said the country is a responsible fishing nation that “seeks to promote sustainable international fisheries,” who praised the country’s “unceasing efforts to perfect national fisheries laws.”

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