Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 20 - 26  > JCP Shii talks with fishermen’s cooperative officials
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2008 February 20 - 26 [SDF]

JCP Shii talks with fishermen’s cooperative officials

February 21, 2008
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on February 20 visited a fishermen’s cooperative in Katsuura City, Chiba Prefecture, and had a meeting with its officials to discuss the incident in which two fishermen went missing after their tuna fishing boat was hit and destroyed by the Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyer Atago.

In the meeting that began with Shii expressing his sympathy for the two missing fishermen, Geki Eitaro, the head of the Shin-Katsuura Fishermen’s Cooperative, thanked the JCP chair for the kind word and said, “Sadly, the family (of the missing fishermen) has fallen into an abyss due to the incident caused by the Self-Defense Forces that are supposed to protect the lives and properties of the people.”

Shii said, “I must point out that there was negligence on the part of the Aegis ship. The warship is also responsible for the failure to avoid a collision.”

Asked by Shii what a fishing boat would do if a large vessel draws near, Geki said, “Even though the large vessel has the duty to avoid a collision, the captain of the fishing boat may decide to alter course to avoid a collision.”

After the meeting, Shii said to reporters, “I wish for the earliest possible recovery of the missing fishermen, and it is necessary to determine how the incident occurred and who is responsible for it.” He went on to say:

“Under the rules of maritime navigation, a ship that has spotted another ship on its starboard side is required to alter its course in order to avoid a collision. Although small fishing boats do not have the duty to take action to avoid a collision in the face of a large warship, they are usually obliged to take such action. It is serious that Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels are not in compliance with the rules of navigation in spite of the fact that they have the duty to protect citizens’ lives and properties. The JCP will try as hard as possible to make clear the defense minister’s responsibility for the incident.”

Shii also stated, “The fundamental question we need to address seriously is if we should allow Yokosuka Port at the mouth of Tokyo Bay to continue to be used as a military port. Yokosuka Port is used as a U.S. Navy homeport. The deployment of a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier is planned for this year, and Japanese MSDF escort ships are there to protect the U.S. aircraft-carrier. The task now is for us to stop the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft-carrier from using Yokosuka as its homeport.”
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved