The Fisheries Agency plans to update its fleet of chartered patrol boats so it can crack down harder on illegal fishing by foreign ships, its latest budget request shows.
The agency has requested ¥20.7 billion for fiscal 2018 starting in April to replace two of the 37 boats it charters from private companies. These boats typically have better radar and are more maneuverable. It also plans to charter one additional ship. The agency last expanded its fleet four years ago.
In recent years, Japan has seen an increase in illegal fishing in its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone by ships from China and the Koreas.
In addition to the chartered boats, the Fisheries Agency owns seven patrol boats. The agency plans to replace one of the seven with a new, larger boat by March 2021, according people close to the matter.