Japan is taking a tougher stance in handling the disputed Diaoyu Islands, which are often used by Chinese and North Korean ships.
The project is set to cost 280 million yen for the first three facilities, which can locate ships up to 50km away. The resources will purchase and install advanced radar systems and remote-controlled surveillance cameras on some of the nation’s most remote islands to give advanced warning of Chinese ships operating close to or within Japanese waters around disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The systems will also provide a new information on foreign vessels approaching the islands the monitoring equipment will also warn the Japan Coast Guard of North Korean fishing vessels illegally operating in Japanese waters. The islands are known in Japan as the Senkakus but claimed by China as the Diaoyu Islands.
Japan’s government announced on Feb 1 in the fiscal 2017 supplementary budget that is has set aside 280 million yen (US$2.54 million) for the first three radar facilities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported. Two are to be constructed on islands off Kagoshima Prefecture, in southern Japan, while the third will be erected in Nishinoshima Island, off the southwestern coast of the Sea of Japan, of East Sea.
Japanese locals have said that traditional catches and squids have significantly reduced in the waters that North Korean fishermen have been found operating. Reports indicate that North Korean fishermen use outlawed drift nets.
Tokyo plans to build a further 20 surveillance stations in the coming years, with the radar able to locate vessels operating up to 50km away.