World, Asia - Pacific

Japan hands over fishery patrol vessel to Indonesia

Fishery patrol vessel to improve Jakarta's ability to monitor territorial waters, stop illegal fishing far from coast

Pizaro Gozali Idrus   | 25.05.2021
Japan hands over fishery patrol vessel to Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia 

Japan has handed over a fishery patrol vessel to facilitate Indonesia in preventing illegal fishing in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea.

According to a press release issued by the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday, the handover was made to stop rampant illegal fishing activities far from the coast, as Indonesia currently lacked the proper capabilities to monitor its territorial waters.

"This time, a Fishery Patrol Vessel, namely Shirahagi-maru, has been handed over to increase the surveillance capacity of the Indonesian authorities," the embassy said.

Based on a memorandum of understanding signed last year, Japan also handed over a similar vessel owned by the Japanese Fisheries Agency to Indonesia, along with maintenance equipment worth 2.2 billion yen ($20.2 million).

Through this cooperation, Japan aims to support Indonesia's efforts in improving their capability in fishery patrolling and empowering the fishery industry.

"It will also contribute to the implementation of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific," it added.

Indonesia has lodged a protest against China over alleged territorial violation by Chinese coastguard vessels around the disputed Natuna waters.

Natuna is located in the southern part of the South China Sea, a heavily disputed body of water with many overlapping territorial claims. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have their own claims in the waters and China's sweeping nine-dash line claim was invalidated by an international tribunal ruling in 2016.

In January, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stressed the importance of maintaining the South China Sea as a peaceful and stable sea during her Chinese counterpart's visit in Jakarta.

"In order to achieve this goal, all countries must respect and implement international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on The Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," she said.

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