Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has disclosed that Japan has lodged a protest with North Korea over a boat collision in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
Abe referred to Monday's collision in an Upper House plenary session the following day. A patrol ship of Japan's Fisheries Agency and a North Korean fishing boat collided in the Sea of Japan, off the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Abe said the North Korean fishing boat sank and all its crew were rescued by the Fisheries Agency vessel, but no illegal operations were confirmed so they did not take anyone into custody. He explained that the crew members were handed over to another fishing boat believed to belong to North Korea.
Abe said the Fisheries Agency issued a strict warning to the crew members and sent them out of Japan's exclusive economic zone.
Abe added that fishing in Yamatotai, an area inside Japan's exclusive economic zone, is an extremely serious issue, as it is not only illegal but also obstructs the safe operations of Japan's fishermen.
He said Japan will continue to firmly respond to prevent illegal operations by foreign ships. He said the protest was lodged via the two countries' embassies in Beijing.