JCG to expand video transmission on Senkaku patrols

TOKYO (The Japan News/ANN) - Territorial waters and the contiguous zone around the Senkakus have been subject to frequent intrusions by Chinese government vessels. 

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) has decided to install video transmission devices on all 12 of its special unit large patrol vessels assigned to monitor the security situation around the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture. The decision is a response to repeated intrusions into territorial waters near the Senkakus by Chinese government vessels.

By setting up a video transmission system, the patrol vessels will be able to send videos taken on site to the Prime Minister’s Office and the JCG headquarters instantaneously via satellite circuit. This will allow the government to make rapid decisions in any contingency. The JCG is planning to complete installation by the end of fiscal 2017.

Territorial waters and the contiguous zone around the Senkakus have been subject to frequent intrusions by Chinese government vessels since the Japanese government nationalised the islets in September 2012. Video transmission devices have already been employed for policing and other duties by three of the 12 special unit vessels, including those carrying a helicopter.

However, the JCG had difficulty grasping and conveying the overall situation on site using that small number of devices when, in August last year, as many as 15 Chinese government vessels and 200 to 300 fishing boats swept areas near the Senkakus, exceeding any previous predictions on the part of the Japanese government.

Learning from this experience, the JCG judged it necessary for all special unit vessels to carry video transmission devices.

The JCG is also planning to increase satellite circuits to enable concurrent transmission of multiple videos. This will enable the Prime Minister’s Office and senior JCG officials to watch the videos in real time to quickly respond to situations.

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