Japan Coast Guard Looks to Retirees for Patrol near Senkaku Islands

Tied up with surveillance in waters around the Senkaku Islands due to repeated incursions by Chinese ships, the Japan Coast Guard is looking at using end-of-life patrol vessels and reemploying retired officers.

The ideas have been proposed as Chinese government ships have continued to enter Japanese territorial waters around the Japanese-administered islands in Okinawa Prefecture since the Japanese government nationalized some of the uninhabited islands last September. China also claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

A senior coast guard official said, “We cannot deal with the situation over the long term (within the current organizational structure).”

The Japan Coast Guard had a staff of 12,671 at the end of March 2012, up some 420 from 10 years ago. It had a fleet of 121 patrol ships, down three, while efforts to introduce new models are under way.

The number of patrol vessels of 1,000 tons or more, which constitute the main fleet policing territorial waters came to 51, more than some 40 such Chinese ships. They have been deployed to waters near the Senkaku Islands from across Japan.

Read the rest of the story: Japan Eyes Old Ships, Retirees for Patrol near Senkakus.

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