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Japan: Foreign Ship Navigation Within the Territorial Waters Law

(July 2, 2008) The Diet (Japan's Parliament) passed a new law on June 5, 2008, to regulate foreign ships' navigation within Japan's territorial waters. Japan did not previously have a law to control the movements of suspect foreign ships within its territorial sea, and so Japanese maritime officials could not conduct on-the-spot inspection of suspicious North Korean fishing vessels masquerading as cargo ships. The Fishery Law permitted on-the-spot inspection only of fishing vessels. (Nihon ryƍkai nai no gaikoku hushin sen kisei e [Foreign fishing vessels within Japan's territorial sea to be controlled], YOMIURI ONLINE, June 5, 2008 (on file with author).)