MATSUE, SHIMANE PREF. – The Shimane Prefectural Government said Tuesday that it has decided to extend the fishing rights in waters around the Sea of Japan islets of Takeshima for local fishermen for another 10 years until the end of August 2023.
This will be the sixth extension of fishing rights around the islets, which are held by South Korea but claimed by Japan. The tiny rocky outcroppings are called Dokdo in South Korea.
The fishing rights were first granted in 1953 by the governor of Shimane and have been extended every 10 years. The current rights are set to expire at the end of this August.
The last time the Japanese fishing rights around islands were exercised was May 1954, when local fishermen caught shellfish such as abalones, prefectural officials said.
That August, South Korea started to take steps to boost its control of the islets, and no fishing operations have since been conducted by Japanese fishermen, according to the officials.
“We decided to extend the rights further so that fishing can be resumed as soon as the territorial dispute is resolved,” said an official in the prefectural government’s fisheries division.