NHK Japan Broadcasting Corporation has reported on 12 April that the Japan Coast Guard expects to receive three new 6,000-ton maritime patrol vessels.
“Three large patrol boats for the Japan Coast Guard are under construction and will be deployed this fiscal year. When they are completed, the Coast Guard will have seven ships of over 6,000 tons,” said in NHK’s media report.
Media were invited to a shipyard in Shimonoseki, western Japan, where one of the new vessels, the Shunko, is being built.
According to media reports in recent weeks, the new maritime patrol vessels will be able to carry two helicopters. Newest vessels will also be equipped with a desalinator to supply the crew with fresh water on long missions.
The first build patrol ship, called Shunko (PLH42), has been given other upgrades to improve its response to emergencies. It will be armed with bigger automatic guns and two water cannons that have never before been mounted on conventional patrol ships of this class.
Despite ranking only 61st in the world in terms of land area (380,000 km2), Japan’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone combined are 12 times larger (4,470,000 km2) than its land area.
Surrounded on all sides by wide expanses of ocean, Japan is a maritime nation that enjoys the benefits of the sea in the forms of maritime trade and fishing. However, these waters are also plagued by various problems, including maritime accidents, a marine crime such as smuggling and illegal migration, and international disputes over the sovereignty of territorial possessions and maritime resources.
Since its establishment in May 1948, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has been engaged night and day in a variety of activities, including criminal investigations, maritime security operations, search and rescue work, marine environment preservation,disaster mitigation, oceanographic research, and maritime safety operations, and also working to strengthen collaboration and cooperation with other countries, all so that the people of Japan can use and enjoy the various blessings of the ocean environment.
Coast Guard ships are routinely deployed in response to Chinese patrol vessels that enter Japan’s territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan controls the islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory. China and Taiwan claim them.