Seafood being sold in Japan potentially includes catches by Chinese fishing vessels that routinely engage in illegal fishing practices and human rights abuses against their workers, according to a recent investigation by a British environmental group and interviews by Kyodo News.

Between 2017 and 2020, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) interviewed and obtained photos from around 70 Indonesian fishermen who previously worked on board 19 Chinese tuna fishing vessels operating in the western Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans.

The vessels appeared to transship with Japan-bound refrigerated cargo vessels, also known as reefers, some of which were found to be operated by a subsidiary of major Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp.