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South Korea Mulls Retaliation Against Japan on Fishing

Posted June. 22, 2001 09:41,   


The government is considering taking retaliatory actions against Japan following its decision to ban South Korean saury fishing vessels from its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The government plans to take strong actions against Japan since the Japanese government’s ban seriously undermines the Korea-Japan bilateral fisheries agreement. It is likely that a major quarrel over saury fishing in the Southern Kurils between the two countries may spread to diplomatic disputes along with the issue of the Japanese history textbook distortion.

The government will urge for lifting the ban on the Sanriku waters. If Japan continues to refuse to lift the ban, the government will respond with stern actions, such as the possibility of disallowing Japanese vessels from operating in our EEZ waters. Ministries of Maritime-Fisheries and Foreign Affairs-Trade are studying what actions to take against Japan`s decision by examining fishes and waters to which retaliatory actions can be taken against Japan. A government official said, ``Under the bilateral fisheries agreement, Japan is obliged to authorize Korean vessels to engage in fishing activities in Japanese waters within the scope of a set quota. Japan`s action is a serious encroachment on the agreement.``

Earlier, the Japanese government notified Seoul of the position that it will not authorize a total of 26 Korean saury fishing vessels (9000 tons) to operate in the EEZ of the Sanriku until Korea promises that its boats will not operate saury fishing in the disputed territories known as the Southern Kurils.

Meanwhile, according to `Voices from Russia`, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday in the statement, ``South Korean fishing operations are businesses. Russia-South Korea cooperation will not aggravate the relationship with other countries.``