Japan vows support to protect illegal fishing in Pacific waters

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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

JAPAN will continue to support the Pa¬cific Island Coun¬tries (PIC) in improv¬ing their capacity to protect their waters from illegal fishing, says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Mr Abe said this before the joint summit of the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8).

He made this comment in light of increased concerns by Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on the limitation of policing activities on their large and resource-rich Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).

Mr Abe said: “Japan will be unstinting in its assistance towards improving countries’ capacity to “protect the seas”, including each country’s le¬gal enforcement capabilities.

“Where Japan wishes to place emphasis from now is, first of all, establishing the rule of law in the maritime order.

“I would like to ask all the leaders here to give special consideration to Japan’s fishing activities.

“At the same time, regarding as¬sistance to enhance your guarding capabilities and your capacity to converge resources, I believe Japan has a role it can play,” he said.

Currently, the region receives sup¬port in the form of patrol boats from Australia and New Zealand to police its EEZs.

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