A coastguard patrol stopped the coral fishing boat with a crew of 13 Chinese people at about 45 kilometers northeast of Miyako Island, in the Okinawa chain. The boat Qiong Yang Pu F8139 was first seen by the patrol at 7.43 a.m. and first tried to escape when the patrol approached it.
The captain of the boat, Xue Changlong, was arrested on suspicion of fishing in Japan’s exclusive maritime area without having a permit. The 63-year-old captain, who was arrested at 8.53 a.m., claimed the boat was collecting coral. China is known for the growing demand for coral jewelry, the international press comments.
“The suspect has admitted to illegal fishing,” the coastguard said. He could be punished to pay up to Y10 million for unauthorized fishing, according to Japanese laws.
The event occurred amid a territorial row over the Senkaku islands between Japan and China, as both claim sovereignty over the islands.
Miyako Island is located at about 210 kilometers from the biggest Senkaku Island