The Japan Coast Guard said it has been having success with efforts to crack down on illegal fishing by North Korean boats in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The Japan Coast Guard on Thursday released photos of its policing activities in squid-rich parts of the Sea of Japan where North Korean poaching has been rampant in recent years.

On July 7, a crew member of what appeared to be a North Korean vessel pointed a rifle at a Fisheries Agency boat near the area. This prompted the Japan Coast Guard to start patrolling the area in cooperation with the agency.

During the patrols, somewhere between 50 and over 100 North Korean fishing boats were spotted each day. Using electronic signboards and audio warnings as well as water cannons in some cases, the Japan Coast Guard warned the boats to exit the area.

The mystery boats have been rarely spotted in the area since mid-August, after the coast guard issued warnings to around 820 of them, it said.

None of the boats has been seized and no accidents have occurred during the policing activities, the Japan Coast Guard said.

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