Regarding the ballistic missiles that North Korea continues to launch, this paper collaborated with international NPO Global Fishing Watch (GFW) joint researcher Gakushi Ishimura, associate professor at Iwate University (resource economics and policy studies), and others to investigated the dangers posed to For a total of 5 missiles from 2019 onwards, we determined a sea area with a radius of 150 to 300 km where the impact of impact can be assumed, and analyzed the position information of Japanese fishing boats. Overlapping the operation area of a total of eight ships, we were able to confirm that missiles are a realistic threat. The results of the survey will be announced at the Spring Meeting of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, which opens on the 28th. (Noriyuki Maeguchi)
global fishing watch(GFW) Jointly established by Google, a major US Internet-related company, and Sky Truth, an environmental protection group that utilizes artificial satellites. It became an independent non-profit organization in 2017. Aiming to eradicate IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing, it tracks and compiles data on global fishing activities.
◆ Verification of published missile information and vessel position data
According to the Ministry of Defense, North Korea’s missile launches have increased in frequency, reaching a record high of 59 in 2022. Of the 98 missiles launched since 2019, the survey found four that landed in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Sea of Japan, and one that flew over Aomori Prefecture and flew the longest distance ever. selected for the target.
Since the coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the point of impact are not disclosed, the coordinates are estimated based on the direction and distance from a specific point in Japan based on information within the range published by the Ministry of Defense and the South Korean military. In longline fishing and trawl fishing that pulls bottom trawling, the length of the tackle is 100 to 150 km, so we set a radius of 150 km from the coordinates as the affected sea area where damage to the tackle and marine pollution due to residual fuel can be assumed. Considering the size of the error for only one shot with the longest range, the radius was set to 300 km.
The operating area of the fishing boats was determined using the positional data of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) collected and accumulated by GFW through the satellite network. Associate Professor Ishimura and Associate Professor Keita Abe (Resource Economics) of Musashi University, who are the only ones in Japan to have access to detailed GFW data, are in charge of the analysis. Since fishing boats operate in certain waters for several days, we selected vessels that had been operating in the affected waters for a total of five days, the day of launch and two days before and after the launch.
As a result, on October 2, 2019, the Oki Islands in Shimane PrefectureDogo(dogo)Two ships, including a squid fishing boat, were confirmed in the case that landed about 350 kilometers north of the coast. On September 15, 2009 in Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa PrefectureHegura(Hegura)In the case where the bomb landed about 300 kilometers off the coast of the island, the two ships had been operating for a total of nearly 30 hours.
On October 4, 2010, four vessels flew over Aomori Prefecture and landed outside the EEZ approximately 3,200 kilometers east of Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture. engaged in longline fishing.
Associate Professor Ishimura said, “The existence of fishing boats is a ‘point’, but fishing activities are ‘lines’ and ‘surfaces.’ I would like the government to disclose more information so that we can judge the danger.”
The government is reluctant to disclose information… What are the “dangers” pointed out by experts?
Where did North Korea’s ballistic missiles fall, and were there fishing boats nearby? While the Japanese government has emphasized the threat of North Korean missiles and is desperate to strengthen its defense capabilities, it has been reluctant to warn fishing boats and disclose information.
If there is a possibility that a ballistic missile will land on Japanese territory or territorial waters, or pass over Japan’s airspace, the government will use the nationwide alert system (J-Alert) to send information and urge people to evacuate underground. If there is a possibility of a missile landing in the EEZ outside the territory or territorial waters, another warning will be issued to fishing boats, but the reality is extremely unreliable.
The Cabinet Secretariat and the Fisheries Agency will jointly contact fisheries cooperatives nationwide by e-mail, and each fisheries cooperative will transmit the information to its affiliated fishing boats by automatic voice through a radio station. The content only tells that it was “launched” and “falled”, and lacks speed and concreteness. After the bomb landed, even if fishermen wanted to know more information, they would be blunt, saying, “Please look it up on the website.”
Even when the newspaper requested for freedom of information the coordinates of the point of impact and the minutes of the National Security Council meeting held immediately after the bomb impact, most of them were blacked out even if they were disclosed. The Defense Ministry’s press office explained, “This is because there is a risk that Japan’s intelligence-gathering capabilities will become apparent.”
Tetsuo Maeda, a military critic, points out that “missile impact coordinates are not a specific content of the defense plan, so it is not acceptable to keep them private.” He said, “The area of secrecy is too big to not disclose even information related to the life and death of fishermen.
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