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Wednesday, 27th February 2008
In General Japan News,

New law planned to 'ban foreign ships'

Government officials in Japan are planning to introduce a new law banning foreign ships from staying in territorial waters without due cause, it has been claimed.

Although the proposed legislation has yet to be submitted to the country's Diet, cabinet endorsement has already been obtained, reports Kyodo News.

Under the terms of the bill, unless a ship has a legitimate reason for being anchored within territorial waters, coastal authorities will be permitted to board ships and subject them to a search.

It will also become possible to impose penalties upon vessels that refuse to comply and coastal authorities will also be able to instruct ships to leave Japan's territory.

"All ships which come from foreign ports and intend to enter ports in Japanese waters are required to report security information of their ships to [a] designated coast guard office before their arrival," said Japan Coast Guard.

Japan's nautical jurisdiction covers a distance of 22 km.

Ships will, however, be permitted to remain under some circumstances, for example those seeking relief from ongoing storms.

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