Coast Guard Arrests Chinese Skipper For Illegally Fishing In Japan’s EEZ
|Official Photo Japanese Coast Guard|
Editors Note: The headline states that the Chinese national was arrested for illegal fishing inside Japan's EEZ ( Exclusive Economic Zone ) which is a much different legal concept than the "Territorial Sea". Adjacent coastal states have only certain rights involving minerals and benthic fisheries (bottom dwelling), and whatever migratory non benthic species they are assigned to protect under international conventions. Later in the text the terms "EEZ" and "Territorial waters" are used interchangeably. These are in fact very precise legal terms indicating areas where the law enforcement authority of the adjacent coastal state is quite different. Based on our reading of the context we believe the entire incident occurred on waters of Japan's EEZ. Parts of Japan's EEZ are contested by China. As we write the Chinese Navy is on massive maneuvers near the contested areas. This arrest by Japanese Coast Guard authorities may be treated as a provocation. China seems to be spoiling for a naval gunfight in the area, which will resolve nothing but probably bring the United States into direct conflict with China in defense of Japan as we are obligated to do by treaty.
FROM THE JAPAN TIMES: