The Metropolitan Police Department has deployed 28 officers to the remote Ogasawara Islands to protect residents concerned by Chinese fishermen who are poaching valuable coral from the surrounding seabed.
The contingent was sent because the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is responsible for administering the islands, which are about 1,000 km south of the capital.
The team, which includes riot police, will beef up patrols in areas where sightings of suspected poachers have been made. The MPD also provided an additional police car to Ogasawara Police Station on Chichijima Island and is planning to deploy vehicles with searchlights, too.
The police station started getting reports from residents in early October about suspicious ships and lights at night.
The Foreign Ministry has already asked the Chinese government to stop the poaching on around 10 occasions, but despite the requests and an arrest last week, the Japan Coast Guard spotted 212 Chinese fishing boats around the Ogasawara Islands on Thursday.