Agency Grilled for Not Detaining Crew of N. Korean Boat
Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Fisheries Agency came under fire on Tuesday for failing to take into custody about 60 crew members of a North Korean fishing boat that collided with an Japanese patrol ship in the Sea of Japan the previous day.
At a meeting of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Fisheries Division, participants claimed that the agency should have brought ashore and questioned the boat's captain, criticizing the agency as "weak" for letting the North Korean fishermen go home soon.
At a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors the same day, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explained that the agency did not keep the fishermen from leaving, because illegal fishing by them was not confirmed.
Abe said the government made a protest over the incident to North Korea through diplomatic channels in Beijing.
"We'll continue to respond strictly, in order to prevent illegal fishing by foreign boats," he said.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]