JAPAN COAST GUARD TO FIRE ON SHIPS TRYING TO LAND ON SENKAKUS
The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) could fire on foreign ships trying to land on the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, the government said late on Thursday, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
If a crew member of a China Coast Guard ship or other vessel tries to land on the Senkakus, a JCG official would be allowed to fire a shot that that could inflict injury, even if it does not constitute self-defense or emergency evacuation, according to discussions at a joint meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party’s National Defense Division and other groups on the day.
The use of weapons by the JCG and other officials falls under Article 7 of the police duties execution law. In addition to self-defense and emergency evacuation, the law permits the use of weapons that may cause injuries when perpetrators who are in the act of committing crimes categorized as “violent and dangerous” offer resistance.
According to sources, the government explained that a series of attempts to land on the Senkaku Islands could be categorized as a violent and dangerous crime, and in some cases, it would be possible for coast guard officials to fire at vessels.
However, it did not specify precisely what crimes such actions would involve. The LDP had asked the government to clarify the condition for the use of weapons by coast guard officials, following China’s enforcement of the coast guard law that stipulates the conditions for the use of weapons by its coast guard officials.